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Serbia retain Women's Volleyball World Championship

The defending champions beat Brazil comfortably in straight sets

Serbia’s women’s team celebrated back-to-back world championships in volleyball in the Netherlands on Saturday after cruising to a comfortable straight sets win against Brazil.

Serbia flew through the 2022 Women’s Volleyball World Championship in Apeldoorn unbeaten to become the sixth country to win the crown twice in a row.

With their captain Tijana Boskovic named the most valuable player of the tournament, Serbia won 26-24, 25-22, 25-17. Boskovic was also the top scorer of the final with 24 points.

However, Brazil gave the champions a scare by leading early in the first set by a score of 5-2. After an error from Gabriela Guimaraes, however, Serbia clinched the set 26-24.

Brazil enjoyed a couple of advantages in set two, but seven unanswered points from Serbia put them up 20-16 and then a block from Jovana Stevanovic sealed the set 25-22.

With victory on the horizon, Serbia took a lead early in the third set, which Boskovic then clinched with the winning point to make it 25-17.

The win was Serbia’s fourth in 22 international encounters with traditional volleyball hotbed Brazil.

By claiming the title for a second time in their history, Serbia became the sixth team to clinch back-to-back world championships following the former USSR, which won three times in 1952, 1956 and 1960, Japan (1982 and 1987), China (1982 and 1986), Cuba (1994 and 1998) and Russia (2006 and 2010).

Nine players from the 2018 triumph squad made up Serbia’s team under head coach Daniele Santarelli on this occasion, with captain Boskovich left “speechless” by their achievements together.

“These girls, this team, this energy …. We did it without losing a single match,” Boskovic said.

“I’m so happy and proud to be part of this team. I want to thank everyone that supported us these past three weeks, especially my family.”

In the bronze-medal match, European champions Italy sealed third place by beating Olympic winners the United States in three sets by a score of 25-20, 25-15, 27-15.

Italy secured a third World Championship medal with the rout, as Paola Egonu finished as the top scorer in the match with 25 points.