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The USA women’s run through the Volleyball Nations League came to an abrupt halt Wednesday when they lost in five sets to Serbia.

Updated  

Jul-14 12:41 first published at 12:41 PM


The USA women’s dominance in the Volleyball Nations League came to an end on Wednesday when they were defeated by Serbia in five sets.
In the quarterfinals in Ankara, Turkey, the USA fell behind 2-0, fought back to force a fifth, but ultimately fell short 29-27, 25-23, 20-25, 20-25, and 15-13.
The VNL defending champions finished 11-2. They were 3-0 after the first round, but Japan swept them, and they then won eight straight games in the second and third. That included a victory in Calgary two weeks ago over Serbia.
Brazil and Serbia will square off in the semifinals.
Brazil defeated Japan in the opening quarterfinal on Wednesday, 29-27, 28-26, 20-25, and 25-14. Turkey faced Thailand on Thursday, and Italy was scheduled to play China. On Saturday are the semifinals, and on Sunday come the medal matches.
The men’s quarterfinals will then start the following Wednesday in Bologna, Italy. Brazil plays the USA men.
The seasoned outside hitter Kelsey Robinson led the USA versus Serbia with 17 kills, 14 digs, and four blocks. Ali Frantti, the other outside hitter, had eight digs, two blocks, and 14 kills.
Bojana Milenkovic of Serbia is blocked by Annie Drews and Chiaka Ogbogu as Jordyn Poulter watches (Volleyball World picture)
Chiaka Ogbogu, a middle, recorded six kills, six blocks, and two digs. Haleigh Washington, the other middle, finished with three kills, three blocks, an ace, and a dig. Annie Drews, the replacement opposite, had 10 kills, a block, and eight digs. Jordan Thompson, the starting opposite, had nine kills, two blocks, and a dig.
The first two sets were played by Kathryn Plummer, who finished with five kills, a block, and six digs. Jordyn Poulter, the setter, recorded one kill, two blocks, and two aces. Justine Wong-Orantes, the libero, got 10 digs.
USA had a 21-14 advantage in blocking. Compared to the USA’s three aces, Serbia had six.
With 15 kills, four blocks, and three aces, Sara Lozo of Serbia was the team’s leader. Maja Aleksic had 12 kills and two blocks, while Ana Bjelica recorded 17 kills and three blocks. Drca and Lozo each got 11 digs, while Teodora Pusic had 15. To improve to 9-4 is Brazil.
We never lose five, therefore we are always ready to go five, Bjelica remarked. It’s astounding. We anticipated giving everything we had and playing well, but defeating the USA, now the strongest team in the world, is incredibly challenging.
The FIVB Women’s World Championship, which gets underway in the Netherlands on September 23, is the USA women’s next significant competition. On September 24, Kazakhstan will play the USA.
Serbia celebrates defeating the USA in a photo from volleyball world

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