Brankica Mihajlovic attacks down the line on the Dominican Republic court at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup at the Sendai Gymnasium on Sunday
Mihajlovic had an excellent all-around game with 12 spikes, two blocks and two service aces. Jovana Stevanovic added 12 points for Serbia, while Yonkaira Paola Pena Isabel top scored for Dominican Republic with 13 points.
Serbia opened the match with a 5-0 lead but Dominican Republic got the break on the former’s service error. The Dominican Republic fought back and were able to trail with a slimmer margin at 9-6. Jelena Nikolic, Stevanovic and Mihajlovic teamed up for 11 points to lead Serbia 22-15. The Serbians ended the first set 25-18 with a solid block.
The Dominicans played with a different tempo in the second set that kept an 8-all score. They held a slim lead 12-11 but play had to be stopped as libero Brenda Castillo went down on a collision with team-mate Pena. Play resumed with Castillo back on the court but Serbia gained edge 23-22. An unsuccessful challenge and an attack error closed the set 25-22 in favour of the Europeans. In the third set, Serbia and Dominican Republic fought closely but suddenly but the latter suddenly lost grip as Serbian attackers pounded on the Dominicans’ defence to gain advantage 22-14. Dominican Republic clawed back and cut down the lead to 24-22 but a strong spike from Serbia closed the set and match 25-22.