RV WU18 BRAvsSRB (5)

Serbian players celebrate during the match against Brazil

European champion Russia and Serbia will meet in one of the semifinals at the 2021 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in Durango, Mexico.

Russia secured their semifinal ticket overpowering Poland in straight sets and Serbia won a challenging battle to Brazil in four-sets in Monday’s quarterfinals at FENADU Venue. Poland and Brazil will face for positions 5 to 8.

Russia’s performance was visibly dominant in all three frames, to remain undefeated with seven victories scoring with on overwhelming 47 points from attacks against 22, while committing fewer errors (7-16). The Russians held a slight margin in serves (6-2) and the polish in blocks (7-6).

Russian outside hitter Daria Zamanskaia led with all scorers with 14 points from twelve kills and two blocks. Middle blocker Natalia Suvorova also contributed in the winning effort with 13 points (11 kills and 2 aces) and outside hitter Anastasiia Kapralova added 11 points on her behalf.

RV WU18 POLvsRUS (14)

Opposite hitter Alina Popova of Russia blocks Poland's outside hitter Karolina Staniszewska

“I am satisfied with my performance and how my team played; for sure we were better than Poland” indicated leading scorer Daria Zamanskaia; “tomorrow during our morning session we will prepare to show our best performance in the semifinal, no matter who we face” she added.

Serbia battled their way into semifinals against a challenging Brazil by close scores in all four frames. The Europeans led the first set entirely. Brazil kept pushing in the second, but was on top only for a brief moment at the beginning (8-6). The most challenging set was the third, whey Serbia recovered from a five-point deficit (13-18) only to surrender to Brazil who also recovered from a four-point deficit (21-23) in the end. Finally Serbia edged Brazil winning after their opponent failed a serve.

Serbia held a close advantage attacks (59-50) and in blocks (13-11). Both teams allowed five points from serves and Brazil committed 20 errors against 22 from Serbia.

With 21 points, opposite hitter Jovana Zelenovic of Serbia was the leading scorer (16 kills, 3 blocks and 2 aces). Two other Serbian players scored double-figures, outside hitters Vanja Ivanovic and Una Vajagic with 16 and 14 points respectively.

Middle blocker Julliana Vitória de Andrade was Brazil’s top scorer with 17 points, including the most blocks with 4, followed by outside hitter Larissa Brandäo Mendes and Aline Segato (captain) with 12 points each.

Jovo Caković, Head oach of Serbia said his team stood up to battle a good challenge but Zelenovic was perfect, “Zelenovic, Zelenovic was very good on the court and our tactic today was to attack. Now we forget this match, we must be very strong against a very tough Russia in semifinals”.