Serbia Wins Third Straight in 5; Russia Crushes Bulgaria in Sweep

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 03rd, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, Australian volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Men, International Volleyball, News


  • June 1st-June 3rd, 2018
  • Arena Armeec, Sofia, Bulgaria (seating 12,373)
  • Time Zone: GMT +3 (US Eastern Time +7)
  • World Rankings: #4 Russia, #11 Serbia, #14 Bulgaria, #16 Australia
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  • Schedule/Results
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
1 Jun 17:00 Australia  1–3  Russia 18–25 19–25 25–18 22–25 84–93 P2 P3
1 Jun 20:00 Bulgaria  2–3  Serbia 17–25 25–23 25–23 21–25 14–16 102–112 P2 P3
2 Jun 17:00 Russia  2–3  Serbia 25–20 23–25 23–25 25–22 12–15 108–107 P2 P3
2 Jun 20:00 Bulgaria  0–3  Australia 23–25 23–25 24–26 70–76 P2 P3
3 Jun 17:00 Serbia  3–2  Australia 25–23 25–19 20–25 25–27 15–9 110–103 P2 P3
3 Jun 20:00 Bulgaria  0–3  Russia 17–25 15–25 21–25 53–75


Serbia def. Australia 3-2

  • Serbia defeated Australia 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 25-27, 15-9
  • Serbia moved to 4-2 (9 points); Australia moved to 1-5 (4 points)

Serbia moved its third straight five-set match in as many days, holding on for the victory over Australia.

Australia boasted the lead in kills (57-55) and aces (6-2), but gave up 39 points on errors (to 33) and were bested 13-8 at the net in the loss.

Dusan Petkovic took the reigns for Serbia, scoring 18 points, all on kills. Uros Kovacevic and Aleksandar Okolic chipped in 10 and nine points respectively, and six others turned in four or more points in the win. Okolic starred at the net with six blocks, while Kovacevic downed nine putaways. Milan Katic added seven putdowns in the first three sets. Late subs Marko Ivovic (5) and Drazen Luburic (4) came through in the end with Luburic issuing the final blow.

Four Aussies posted double-digit scoring efforts led by Max Staples (17), Jordan Richards (16) and Thomas Hodges (15). Trent O’dea followed with 10 points. Staples put down a team-best 15 kills, while Hodges and Richards added 14 and 10 respectively. Richards was the team’s top server and blocker, registering three apiece. Star Lincoln Williams started the first two sets, tallying just three points, and did play again after that. Luke Smith also was pulled after the first two sets.

Serbia grabbed a 10-5 lead in Set 5 and carried on to victory despite an Australian charge and a denied challenge that looked to cut the margin to three. Instead, it was 14-9 Serbia when Luburic, who only played in the final two sets, served up an ace to cap the match.

Serbia took Set 1 on a service error at 25-23, but cruised to a seven-point edge in Set 2 (16-9) and held on for the 25-19 win.

Australia switched setters ahead of Set 3, going with Arshdeep Dosanjh among three new starters, and that stemmed the tide. The Aussies rolled to a 16-13 advantage and led 23-20 before clinching the win on a Serbian service error. 

Ivovic, Luburic and Srecko Lisinac entered the match in Set 4 and aided Serbia, but it was not enough to overcome a surging Richards and the Aussies, who sent the match to a decisive fifth set on a Nikola Mijailovic miscue.


Russia def. Bulgaria 3-0

  • Russia def. Bulgaria 25-17, 25-15, 25-21
  • Russia moved to 4-2 (13 points); Bulgaria moved to 2-4 (6 points)

Egor Kliuka and Dmitriy Muserskiy proved too much for Bulgaria to handle as the team fell to Russia in a sweep on Sunday, leaving the home fans without a win to celebrate in Pool 5 action.

Kliuka notched 16 points (14 kills, 1 block, 1 ace) and Muserskiy added 13 (9 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces) to guide Russia, which bested Bulgaria in every statistical category. Anton Karpukhov and Konstantin Bakun chipped in eight points apiece, including six kills apiece.

Bulgaria got 10 points from Nikolay Uchikov (8 kills, 2 blocks) and five point efforts from three others in the loss. Svetoslav Gotsev (3 kills, 1 block, 1 ace), Valentine Bratoev (5 kills) and Viktor Yosifov (2 kills, 3 blocks) made up the group. Todor Skrimov chipped in four kills. Gotsev entered the match as a substitute in Set 2 and started the third, while Bratoev acted as a sub in Set 3. Bulgaria played without starting setter Georgi Bratoev, who injured his ankle against Australia and is expected to miss the remainder of the team’s VNL matches.

Russia held the upper hand in kills (38-25), blocks (7-6) and aces (7-2) in the sweep. The Russians scored in a variety of ways, clinching Set 1 on an Ilia Vlasov block, Set 2 on a challenge and Set 3 on a service error by Uchikov.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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