Aug. 10 - USA vs. Serbia, 2 p.m. EST
By Jim Stone
The third of Jim Stone’s scouting reports on pool opponents the U.S. women will face at the Olympics looks at Serbia, the world’s 6th-ranked team.
9 Brankica Mihajlovic – left-side hitter (height: 6-2; age: 25)
10 Maja Ognjenovic – setter (6-0; 32)
12 Jelena Nikolic – left-side hitter (6-4; 34)
15 Jovana Stevanovic – middle blocker (6-4; 24)
16 Milena Rasic – middle blocker (6-4; 25)
17 Silvija Popovic – libero (5-10; 30)
19 Tijana Boskovic – opposite (6-3; 19)
- Tall, physical and talented team. Very offensive, both in attack and serving.
- Can play well for a streak, then poorly for a streak.
- Relies on offense and serve to score points.
- For Serbia to win, they must pass well enough for the middles to impact the match. The outsides are too inconsistent to win a match by themselves.
- Mihajlovic (#9) is very offensive and has a good jump spin serve.
- Setter Ognjenovic (#10) attacks the middle of the court.
- Nikolic (#12) is a good passer.
- Stevanovic (#15) hits slides and 31s very well.
- Rasic (#16) hits mostly in front of the setter.
- Serbia runs a 5-1.
- Setter Ognjenovic (#10) likes to set middle and will run middle (31s) from off net.
- Middle attack is very efficient. Hitters work hard to be available and setter likes to give them the ball.
- Left-side attack is strong but sometimes inconsistent.
- This team always swings hard and is good out of system.
- Very good serving team. Mixes in flat serves to deep court, with short serves in front of the passers.
- Tall team but not a great blocking team. Struggles with quick attacks.
- Average defensive team. Libero Silvija Popovic (#17) is strong. Otherwise, not much to offer in backcourt.
USA vs. Serbia outlook
Serbia has sufficient talent to defeat the USA – or any other team, for that matter. Both teams are very good offensively. Serbia combines a good serve with a very good offensive attack. However, USA is more consistent in all aspects of the game. The offense for both teams will be effective. The difference in the match is that the USA is a better blocking and defensive team. USA is also mentally stronger and capable of withstanding Serbian offensive runs. USA will win the long rallies. The prediction here is a 3-1 USA win.
1 Alisha Glass – setter (height: 6-0; age 28) – Leland, Michigan; Penn State
2 Kayla Banwarth – libero (5-10; 27) - Dubuque, Iowa; University of Nebraska
3 Courtney Thompson – setter (5-8; 31) – Kent, Washington; University of Washington
5 Rachael Adams – middle blocker (6-2; 26) - Cincinnati, Ohio; University of Texas
6 Carli Lloyd – setter (5-11; 27) – Bonsall, California; University of California-Berkeley
10 Jordan Larson – outside hitter (6-2; 29); Hooper, Nebraska; University of Nebraska
12 Kelly Murphy – opposite (6-2; 26) Wilmington, Illinois; University of Florida
13 Christa Dietzen – middle blocker (6-2; 29) Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania; Penn State
15 Kim Hill – outside hitter (6-4; 26) Portland, Oregon; Pepperdine
16 Foluke Akinradewo – middle blocker (6-3; 29) Plantation, Florida; Stanford
23 Kelsey Robinson – outside hitter (6-2; 24) Bartlett, Illinois; University of Nebraska
25 Karsta Lowe – opposite (6-4; 23) Rancho Santa Fe, California; UCLA