Serbia and Azerbaijan catch convincing start of their World Champs campaign
2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Women
Baku, Azerbaijan, January 3, 2014. The hosts of Azerbaijan and Serbia caught a very good start of their campaign at the World Champs qualifier that is taking place this weekend in Baku. Serbia opened the program of the tournament on Friday afternoon as the bronze medalists from the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix beat Estonia in straight sets (25-21, 25-18, and 25-15) while the home heroines of Azerbaijan edged Israel 3:1 (25-15, 25-21, 19-25, and 25-15). Waiting for the much-anticipated showdown starring Serbia and Azerbaijan on Sunday that most probably will determine the winner of the tournament, Serbia on Saturday will play Israel before Azerbaijan takes on Estonia.
Serbia is by many considered the pre-favorite side of the tournament but the players around head coach Zoran Terzic were somehow surprised by their opponents from Estonia who could keep the score tight up to 18 all in the opening set. In the end, Serbia accelerated their pace to claim the first set 25-21 and afterwards everything went just smoothly for them, who pocketed a 3:0 victory.
The home heroines of Azerbaijan had played a few friendly matches with Russia’s Uralochka EKATERINBURG before this tournament and had showed a very good condition in the games against the team mentored by Nikolay Karpol. In their opening game with Israel they started out strong (19:10) and comfortably claimed the opening set (25-15). Things did not change also in the second where they broke away after the second technical time-out (17:12) paving the way for the final 25-21. However, Israel reacted in the third set where the guests imposed their tempo and finished it off at 19-25. The players around head coach Faig Garayev got back on track in the fourth where they could lead the way 16:10 at the second technical time-out before celebrating their first home victory (25-15).
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