Sloetjes leads Netherlands in 3-0 win over Serbia

 

Nagoya, Japan, October 11, 2018 - Lonneke Sloetjes scored a match-high 22 points as the Netherlands routed Serbia 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-20) in the second round at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship on Thursday night. The two teams progress to the Third Round of the competition which begins on Sunday.

Anne Buijs contributed 11 points for the Dutch, while Yvon Belien had nine in the win.

Brankica Mihajlovic was the top scorer for Serbia in the loss with 10 points.

The defeat was the second straight for Serbia after seven consecutive victories to start the tournament.

Star player Tijana Boskovic, who has an injury to her abdominal muscles, did not play for Serbia for the second straight game.

The Serbian attack was not nearly as formidable as it had been through most of the tournament as a result.

The Dutch were the more energized team from the outset, excelling on serve, block and attack, with Sloetjes leading the way.

Serbia was unable to consistently string together many consecutive points to mount a challenge on this night.

The Netherlands grabbed a 10-6 lead in the opening set as Sloetjes scored five quick points on serve and attack. A spike by Mihajlovic made it 13-9. Buijs pounded a spike and the Dutch expanded their lead to 19-13. Serbia trailed 20-15 after a nice spike by Jovana Stevanovic. A tip by Sloetjes gave the Netherlands the set 25-16. Sloetjes had nine points in the set.

Belien rose for a spike in the middle to put the Dutch ahead 6-2 in the second set. The Netherlands quickly added to their lead, scoring almost at will on blocks and attacks in the set. They led 16-6 at the second TTO. A spike by Rasic saw Serbia trailing 20-8. A quick tap by Laura Dijkema made it 23-10 for the Dutch, who closed out the set 25-12.

The third set followed the script of the first two, with the Dutch establishing an early lead and continuing to rapidly build on it. It was 8-3 for the Netherlands at the first TTO as Serbia mishandled a reception. A Mihajlovic spike pulled Serbia within five points at 15-10 down. Serbia scored four straight to make it 15-14. A big spike by Ana Bjelica saw Serbia trailing 23-18. The Dutch took the set and match 25-20, with Sloetjes finishing it with a spike that was blocked out.