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03/10/2015 20:50
Defending champions shock Serbia to fly to EuroVolley Final
2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women

Rotterdam, Netherlands, October 3, 2015. Defending champions Russia booked the second ticket to the gold medal match of the 2015 women’s EuroVolley after presenting a convincing demonstration of efficiency in the second semi-final of the tournament. The 2013 gold medallists shocked favourites Serbia 3:1 (25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22) and will clash against the local heroines of The Netherlands vying for their 19th continental crown. The Russian side will try to relive what they accomplished in the 2013 edition of the tournament, when the powerhouses of European Volleyball beat Germany 3:1 in the title-deciding match.

Click here for a live gallery of the 2015 Women’s EuroVolley final four weekend 

Russia vs Serbia 3:1 (25-23, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22)

Russia will make their second straight appearance in a EuroVolley final and will fight for their second consecutive continental title in the gold medal match of the 2015 CEV DELA Volleyball European Championship – Women. The defending champions beat Serbia 3:1 and completed a remarkable run in the tournament thus earning the right to opt for their 19th European crown.

As the Sportpaleis Ahoy arena in Rotterdam was still filled with fans enjoying the joy of the previous victory of the local team, Serbia presented an inspired start in the second semi-final leading the way by 4:2 first and then by 7:5. However, after every Serbian lead, Russia succeeded in levelling the score. Zoran Terzic’s ladies kept on the good side of the game, but Russia evened it again and again (15:15, 18:18). An incredible spike by Russian Tatiana Kosheleva - who flew in from the three-meter line - brought the 20:19 to the scoreboard. Russia continued on a high note towards the end of the period, and eventually it was set point for the defending champions (24:22). A blocked-out spike by the Russian ladies ended the first set in favour of the 2013 gold medal winners (25-23).

Serbia’s Jovana Stevanovic opened the score in the second act with an ace and after a kill block of her teammates the lead was for the 2015 FIVB World Cup silver medallists. A kill block by Jovana Stevanovic levelled the score at 14:14. Tijana Boskovic helped her team keep up the score (16:15), but the teams exchanged the lead back and forth before Serbia approached Russia up to one point with an ace by Milena Rasic (23:22). Nonetheless, in a close end of the period, the Russian blocking made the difference. The pressure imposed by the Russian middle blockers on their rivals’ attacks resulted in a late lead for the defending champions. As Tijana Boskovic spiked off the bounds, Russia claimed set point which was promptly cashed by Tatiana Kosheleva (25-23).

After two kill blocks on Russian attacks, Serbia created a gap of three points in the opening phase of the third act (4:1). Though Russia came back to 3:4, Serbia took a two-point lead. After Alexandra Pasynkova served out, the scoreboard showed an impressive 19:11 Serbia’s way, but Russia did not give in easily. Jelena Nikolic spiked her team to set point (24:18), but when the Russian ladies came back to 21:24, it was time for a Serbian time out. After the pause, Serbia regained their efficiency and enforced the fourth set after their 25-21 win in the third stanza.

The onset of the fourth period was for Serbia to grab, but Russia soon made their comeback. The powerful attacks and services gave the Russian ladies the lead, and this time Serbia had no answer to the attacks by Nataliia Obmochaeva and Tatiana Kosheleva, who also did an excellent job in blocking (11:4). The Russian train was unstoppable, despite the Serbian efforts to stay in the match (17:10, 22:16). Serbia eventually managed to reduce their gap to three points (23:20) and when substitute Stefana Veljkovic launched an incredible spike in the Russian side of the court, the score moved to 23:21. Serbia collected one more point, but the decisive 25-22 ultimately determined the chance for Russia to meet the Netherlands in the final act of the 2015 women’s EuroVolley.

“My team performed far from perfect today, but they fought for every point. Our will to win is our main weapon. Our setting must be better tomorrow against the Netherlands,” stated the coach of Russia Yuriy Marichev. “It is magnificent that there is such an enormous and loud orange crowd here. But we hope to see and hear some Russian fans tomorrow as well,” he added.

“We played really bad today, I am not sure what the reason was, but I think my players are tired after four major competitions: European Games, Grand Prix, World Cup and now the fifth match of the European Championship. I hope that tomorrow they will find the power to play one last good match against Turkey. If we play at our level, I’m sure that we can win,” declared the coach of Serbia Zoran Terzic. 

For more information on the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women visit or click here. In social media, please use the competition’s official hashtag #EuroVolleyW.   

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