Serbia survive first-set to deservedly take EuroVolley quarterfinals by defeat Czech Republic in straight sets in the first of two Antwerp 1/8 finals.
In the first set, some great serving by Jan Hadrava (4 aces and 5 spikes in the set!) brought Czech Republic back into the match. They even had the first five set points, however they failed to convert, the last one due to a successful video challenge by coach Slobodan Kovač. After that, Serbia gained control and closed the set after their second set point 31:29. Second set started well for the Czech Republic, but two aces in a row by Srecko Lisinac gave Serbia complete control at 9-8 and they easily won 25:21. Serbia good performance continued throughout the third set and Czech Republic no longer stood a chance: Marko Podrascanin close the set and the match at 25:18.
Czech Republic’s Donovan Dzavoronok was the best scorer of the match with 18 points, including three aces, but how many errors! Uros Kovacevic scored 17 points for the winning side, while Serbian Srecko Lisinac and Czech Jan Hadrava scored four aces each.
For their quarterfinal on Tuesday, Serbia await the winner of the eighthfinal between Belgium and Ukraine.
Nemanja Petric – Outside spiker and captain of Serbia
“We knew this would be difficult game, since Czech Republic are a strong team from the nine-meter line. They serve really well. So we had to be very concentrated, because every game is tricky from now on. So we’re just thinking step by step. I enjoy playing in Belgium, since I started my international career in this country.”
Jakub Janouch – Setter and captain of Czech Republic:
“The key moment in this game was the end of the first set. We defended some attacks at that moment, but we couldn’t convert one the many set points. From the second set on, Serbia raised their level. So that’s where our story ends. That’s a pity, because it was our goal to reach the quarterfinals, but we need more high-level matches to reach this little extra.”
Source: CEV. Photo: randomvolley