|Malagursi's late effort powers Serbia past Algeria |
Tokyo, Japan, November 2, 2010 - Undefeated Serbia kept their momentum going against Algeria on Tuesday, notching their fourth win (25-15, 25-12, 25-21) from as many matches in the first round at Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo. Clearly outmatched on the day, Algeria continued to struggle in a difficult Pool A, taking their fourth consecutive loss to extinguish any hope the African champions had of qualifying for the second round.
Serbia was led by Sanja Malagurski and Dragana Marinkovic with 10 points each. Algeria’s Faiza Tsabet and Zohra Bensalem both tallied eight points a piece for the losing side.
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The second set was a little closer early on, with Algeria’s Bensalem continuing her great play with a spike to move within one point of Serbia at 8-7. But solid attacking play by Rasic and good serving from Vesovic allowed Serbia to go on a 7-1 points run to take control 15-8. Outstanding blocking by Marinkovic on the tram lines, punctuated by a great stop on Boukhima, helped the girls in blue take the set 25-15 and hold a comfortable two set lead.
Serbia appeared unfocused to start the third, allowing Algeria to hold a slight lead with Lydia Oulmou tipping over the net to put them up 8-4 at the TTO. The upstart Algerians managed to extend to 12-6 on a block by Tassasit Aissou on Serbia’s Jovana Vesovic. But Serbia eventually woke from their slumber, taking eight of the next nine points, thanks to a flurry of unstoppable attacks from spiker Sanja Malagurski to go up 14-13. Algeria stuck close until late, when they were plagued by errors including two from Tsabet. Amazingly Malagurski had all her 10 points in the final set driving Serbia to the third set and match victory 25-21.
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