Serbia edges USA to seal ticket to Finals
SANTA FE, Argentina, June 12, 2018 - Bojana Milenkovic was on
fire for Serbia to help seal a place in the VNL finals and end
table-topping USA’s 10 match winning streak with a thumping 3-1
victory (30-28, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18).
The Serbs arrived in South
America knowing bagging maximum points would be enough for them
to reach the finals in China.
And following a stellar display
with a mainly second string team minus the powerful Tijana
Boskovic and head coach Branko Kovacevic who didn’t travel to
Santa Fe, the Europeans brilliantly put an end to the Americans
amazing run and served notice of their quality with a super
Wing spiker Milenkovic, 21, was
the star - ending with 17 spikes and six blocks while the
similarly excellent Ana Bjelica weighed in with a healthy 20
spikes. Jelena Blagojevic finished with 15 points to cap an
excellent all round display.
Perhaps Karch Kiraly’s side
already have one eye on the finals having already sealed their
ticket last week but their passing game was left wanting here -
they also gave up 27 errors compared to 23 from the Serbs - in
what was a repeat of the Olympic semifinals in Rio two years ago
which saw Serbia bag a 3-2 win.
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley was the
top scorer with 22 spikes, three blocks and an ace while Andrea
Drews scored 10 and Foluke Akinradewo notched 11 but it wasn’t
enough to stop the US sliding to what is just their second
defeat of an otherwise highly successful campaign so far.