Serbia storm past Kenya in straight sets


Hamamatsu, Japan, September 30, 2018 - While a typhoon raged outside, Serbia displayed calm inside Hamamatsu Arena as they beat Kenya 3-0 (25-16, 25-9, 25-8) in Pool D at the FIVB Women's World Championship on Sunday night.

Jovana Stevanovic sparked Serbia in the victory with nine points.

Brankica Mihajlovic had eight points and Stefana Veljkovic seven for Serbia.

Mercy Moim led Kenya with seven points in the loss.

Kenya played hard, but was unable to muster the same level they exhibited in Saturday's historic victory over Kazakhstan, their first ever at a World Championship.

Serbia is one of the top teams in the world, and with Kenya coming off a big win, it was going to be difficult for them to show the same energy as a night earlier.

The match did not have many long rallies, with many points over in a flash. Kenya was unable to contend with Serbia's block.

The first set featured poor serving by both teams. Time and again serves flew long or straight into the net. Serbia took charge and pulled ahead 16-10 at the second TTO on a spike by Milena Rasic and rolled to grab the set 25-16. The higher-ranked Serbs finally got into a rhythm and came together

Serbia again set the pace in the second set, moving out to an 8-4 lead at the first TTO following a service ace by Tijana Malesevic. Serbia's wing spikers blasted away at the Kenya defense, which was unable to repel the constant attacks. Serbia boosted their advantage to 16-6 at the second TTO while running off six consecutive points. Kenya was also troubled by unforced errors as Serbia built their lead and ultimately took the set 25-9.

The outcome became academic early in the final set when Serbia rapidly established a 9-1 lead. One point in the set crystallized the match. Serbia's Veljkovic went up for a spike with her right hand but mistimed her jump. On the way down she hit the ball with her left hand and it landed in a open space in the Kenya defense for a point. Serbia cruised the rest of the way to take the set and the match 25-8.


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