Boskovic powers Serbia past Netherlands 3-1, into final


Yokohama, Japan, October 18, 2018 - Tijana Boskovic scored a match-high 29 points as Serbia defeated the Netherlands 3-1 (25-22, 26-28, 25-19, 25-23) in the semifinals of the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship on Friday afternoon.

Brankica Mihajlovic added 21 points in the win and Milena Rasic had 12.

Lonneke Sloetjes was the high scorer for the Dutch in the loss with 23 points.

Serbia will play the winner of the China-Italy semifinal on Saturday for the title.

Serbia took the initiative in the opening set, attacking and blocking well. The Dutch were behind from early on until the end of the set.

The second set looked like it would play out like the first, with Serbia in control throughout until around the 20-point mark when the Dutch came on with a strong serve and good defense

The Netherlands carried the momentum into the third set, until the Serbs came back midway through the set to take control on attack again.

Serbia was in control of the fourth set until the Netherlands rallied and made it tight the rest of the way.

The powerful Serbian attack was the difference in the end.

Serbia took a 6-5 lead in the first set on a spike by Bianka Busa. The Serbs led 8-6 at the first TTO on a block by Rasic. A spike by Boskovic from the wing made it 13-10 for Serbia. Yvon Belien sent a serve long and Serbia led 16-12 at the second TTO. Mihajlovic faked out the Dutch defense with a soft tap and Serbia was up 18-14. Maja Ognjenovic put a reverse tap into open space and it was 21-18 Serbia. A spike by Veljkovic from the centre made it 23-19 for Serbia. Sloetjes soared for a spike from the wing as the Dutch pulled within two at 23-21. Boskovic gave the Serbs set point at 24-21 with a huge blast. A Boskovic block on Sloetjes gave Serbia the set 25-22. Boskovic scored seven points in the set.

A wing attack by Busa put Serbia ahead 6-3 in the second set. Serbia responded and went up 8-7 at the first TTO on an ace by Balkestein-Grothues. Mihajlovic delivered a perfectly placed spike into the back corner and Serbia led 10-8. Boskovic soared for a spike and the Serbs were in front 16-14 at the second TTO. Boskovic converted another wing spike and it was 19-15. The Dutch made it 20-19 on a two-handed push by Nicole Koolhaas. Sloetjes equalized 20-20 with a spike from the wing. Mihajlovic put Serbia pack up 21-20 with a powerful blast. The Dutch pulled ahead 22-21 and then got an ace from Koolhaas to make it 23-21. A Sloetjes spike was blocked out and it was set point at 24-21 for the Dutch. Balkestein-Grothues gave the Dutch the lead again with a spike at 25-24. Boskovic leveled it 25-25 with a spike. A block by Veljkovic gave Serbia set point at 26-25. The Dutch tied it 26-26 on a spike and went up 27-26 on an ace. A spike by Boskovic went into the net and the Netherlands took the set 28-26.

An attack from the middle by Buijs gave the Dutch a 6-5 edge in the fourth set. Sloetjes fired an ace and as the Netherlands ran off three straight points to lead 8-5 at the first TTO. Trailing 9-5, Serbia called a timeout. Boskovic evened the score at 12-12 with a spike, then put Serbia up 13-12 with another. Rasic sent a serve long and the Dutch led 16-15 at the second TTO. A Boskovic attack gave Serbia a 20-17 lead and the Netherlands called a timeout. The Dutch misplayed a return and Serbia led 23-18. Serbia took the set 25-19 on a Boskovic spike.

Serbia quickly jumped to a 6-2 lead in the fourth set and the Dutch took a timeout. A back attack by Mihajlovic put Serbia ahead 8-3 at the first TTO. The Dutch scored  five straight points to make it 8-8 on some unforced errors by the Serbs. Sloetjes put the Netherlands ahead 12-11 with an attack from the middle. Serbia came back and took a 15-12 margin on a block by Mihajlovic. Belien came up with a big block on Boskovic and it was even at 19-19. A Dutch spike sailed long and Serbia was two points from the match at 23-21. A block by Koolhaas on Boskovic tied it 23-23. Mihajlovic lofted a tip over the high block for match point at 24-23 and she ended it 25-23 with a spike.


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