Marko Ivovic knows how to avoid even a triple-block
Kraków, Poland, July 17, 2016 – Serbia claimed their first ever World League title after prevailing over Brazil in straight sets 3-0 (25-22,25-22, 25-21) thanks to another impressive performance and 16 points from tournament MVP - Marko Ivovic.
The best scorer of the match was Wallace with 18 points to his name, but his efforts were not enough to keep Brazil in the game. On the Serbian side the best performance was displayed by Ivovic, who finished second behind Antonin Rouzier and Lucarelli in the Best Scorer and Best Spiker statistics.
No team has won as many World League medals as Serbia without ever winning the competition. On Sunday evening in Kraków they finally made their dream come true and can take the trophy and gold medals home. Brazil failed to win the title for the 10th time but are still the record holders with nine victories.
Serbia opened with positive attitude and built a 2-0 lead as Srecko Lisinac’s serves scared Brazil’s defence a bit. Yesterday’s hero Wallace jumped on his high level from the beginning and scored twice in a row. Players from Europe showed no fear and took a 8-6 lead at the first technical time-out. They stayed focused and enlarged their advantage to three points at 16-13. A mistake by Mauricio and ace from Uros Kovacevic resulted in the lead increasing to four at 19-15, which visibly irritated Brazilian coach Bernardo Rezende. His players managed to reduce the distance, but even a great effort on serve by Mauricio were not enough to catch Serbia and the set ended at 25-22.
There was no doubt that Nikola Grbic’s team wanted to win their first World League title, especially in the face of their absence at the Olympics. They were ahead 8-5 and managed to keep the score safe, but Brazil came back into the game and Wallace blocked Kovacevic making it 12-12. In the blink of an eye the Serbians got back on track and with an ace from Drazen Luburic they led 15-13. Ivovic did not stop his hand, but the Canarinhos finally found a way to block him. They reduced the gap to one at 22-21 and kept the chance in this set. Wallace tried to rescue his team from the trouble, but Luburic spiked massively and Serbia got home again 25-22.
It seemed that the match was going to be a short one, as Brazil again could not find their rhythm from the beginning of set three as the scoreline read 6-3 to Serbia. They came back with block on Ivovic making it 8-8, but in a while Lisinac went on serve and jumped with two points 11-9.
Bernardinho decided to substitute Bruno and Wallace, letting William and Evandro in. It helped for a moment, but the score of 18-13 was far from desirable for Brazil. Luburic was unstoppable for them. The Serbian block on Lucarelli at 20-15 was crucial – the Canarinhos did all what they could do, but not enough to win with the Balkan team on this night. An ace from Wallace extended hopes at 22-19, but a fault on the serve line gave matchpoint to Serbia. The joy exploded when Lipe sent the ball in to the net and the 3-0 win and a first World League title for Serbia was wrapped up.