Serbia has enjoyed a brilliant run of form stretching back to 2015, first claiming silver at the 2015 FIVB World Cup and then reaching the final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In an exhilarating game, the Balkan side gave China a real run for their money, but eventually lost in four sets and had to settle for a historic silver medal. However, they topped their Rio success with gold at the 2017 European Championship, beating the Netherlands in the final.
This year marks Serbia's fifth appearance at the World Championships. They made their debut in 1978 as Yugoslavia, but did not compete again until 28 years later when, as Serbia & Montenegro, they won the bronze medal in 2006 in Osaka after beating Italy 3-0 in the third-place playoff. This bronze medal remains Serbia’s best performance in the competition to date, followed up with an eighth-place finish in 2010 and seventh in 2014.
Prior to Rio 2016, Serbia's best Olympic performance had come at the Beijing 2008 Games, where they finished in fifth place. The team's only other appearance was at the London 2012 Games, where they finished eleventh.
On a continental level, Serbia won European Championship silver in 2007 and gold in 2011. More recently, they won bronze in 2015 and the gold for a second time in last year's Championship with a 3-1 won over the Netherlands in the final in Baku.
Serbia competed in the last seven editions of the FIVB World Grand Prix consecutively after their first appearance came in 2011. They immediately reached the podium, winning bronze and another third-place finish followed in 2013. They added to this in 2017 when they beat China 3-1 in the bronze medal playoff. In this year's inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Serbia made it to the Final Six, but were knocked out of the medals round, finishing fifth. After becoming a constant threat to all opponents, can Serbia return to the World Championship podium in 2018?