Serbia again shows good performance during World Grand Prix. Team achieves second win in Sapporo, beating “Nippon” 3-0. Serbia advanced on 3rd place in Final Six.
SERBIA – JAPAN 3-0 (25-22 25-17 25-19)
Line-ups and scores:
Serbia: Ognjenovic (1), Mihajlovic (15), Rasic (16), Brakocevic (11), Molnar (3), Krsmanovic (7), Cebic (L) and Nikolic, Veljkovic (1)
Japan: Miyashita, Kimura (7), Iwasaka (6), Shinnabe (11), Ishii (4), Kawashima (1), Sato (L) and Ishida, Hirai (6), Hashimoto (2), Nagaoka (6)
Brankica Mihajlovic was quickly into her spiking rhythm and contributed four points as Serbia took an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout. Mihajlovic and teammate Milena Rasic continued to try and smash their way through the Japanese defence, but the Japanese always defend well and stayed with the Serbians through 18-18. Saori Kimura then netted a serve and a dump shot at the net by Rasic opened up a two-point gap. Serbia moved three points ahead at 23-20 after a tipover by Jovana Brakocevic and the set ended with two errant serves, by Yuki Ishii and Aimi Kawashima.
Japan came out positively for the third set – Iwasaka blocked Mihajlovic for the first point – and Manabe brought in lefty Miyu Nagaoka to add power to his somewhat soft attack. Japan matched Serbia through to 8-8 but two spiking errors – a problem for Japan on the day – by Nagaoka and a block by Rasic on Saori Kimura opened up a three-point gap at 11-8 and Japan were playing catch-up again. They caught up at 14 for the last time and got within a point at 17-16 before Serbia pulled away again, helped by Japan errors. A netted spike by Nagaoka brought matchpoint and, after a kill by the same player, Kimura sent a serve long to end the match.
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World Grand Prix Standings After 3 Days: