Matthew Anderson acted as flag bearer at USA's win over Serbia with 20 points
Lodz, Poland, September 11, 2014 - USA gathered another key result to keep going in FIVB Men’s World Championship in Poland after overcoming Serbia 3-1 (23-25, 31-29, 25-17, 25-21) in a Pool E game.
• USA achieved their second win over Serbia in FIVB World Championship matches as the previous one was in 1956 - against Yugoslavia.
• Serbia lost a five-match winning streak in Poland.
• The Serbian side still dominate the overall head-to-head record against USA, by 12-9.
• USA has earned at least one set in 11 out of their last 12 World Champs matches - only losing 3-0 against Russia in 2010.
Opposites Matthew Anderson and Aleksandar Atanasijevic finished leveled with 20 points apiece, but the American spiker was well supported by Taylor Sander’s 19 tallies. David Smith was also vital for USA as he jumped from the bench to add 14 points. On Serbia, Srecko Lisinac unveiled 6 stuff blocks and wrapped up a good game with 16 conquests.
Atanasijevic collected points from the very beginning, pacing Serbia to 8-6. USA got into the game after some floated serves from David Lee, but when Serbia stopped failing, they recovered control. Atanasijevic first unleashed a 121 km/h serve for a 19-18 score and then held off USA with his attacks, towards the end. Milos Nikic completed the quest by 25-23.
However, USA managed to maintain a close plot. Smith entered the court and renewed the American spirit, as Anderson also did well to advance to 18-15 and 21-18. Smith gave a handful of set balls to his side (24-20), but Serbia fought back with Nikola Kovacevic and Atanasijevic to vanish all of them. Both teams exchanged points until Smith, with a soft serve, finished the set for USA 31-29.
The momentum remained for USA as Anderson shone from the service line in the third set. The opposite delivered some powerful serves - including an ace to create a 13-8 lead, while Serbia showed several difficulties to regain the level of the first chapter. USA breezed past their rivals to 20-14, Holt provided the first set point at 24-16 and a failed European serve established the 25-17.
Once again, service was the key for USA as Smith added his third ace for a 9-7 score. Maxwell Holt joined with a block and the American side improved to 12-9, but a while later Serbia attempted a comeback led by Lisinac and the game got tied at 17-17. However, Anderson dug up a tough ball and then smashed for a 21-19 that knocked out Serbia. Holt added an ace and Anderson blocked the final 25-21.