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The best team in the first two phases of the World Championship, the Serbians are on pace to defend their 2018 title

Defending champions Serbia ended the second phase of the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in top form and will head to the quarterfinals with tremendous confidence after they defeated European rivals Türkiye on Saturday in Lodz, Poland.

The only undefeated team in the entire tournament, the Serbians secured their ninth triumph at the World Championship with a comfortable sweep (25-20, 25-21, 25-23) of the Turkish in their fourth and final Pool F match.

· Watch all FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2022 matches live on Volleyball TV.

With the result, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists end the second phase of the World Championship with the best campaign among all 16 teams that were looking for a spot in the quarterfinals – nine wins, 26 points, 27 sets won and just two lost. The Turkish won six of their nine matches, tallying 17 points, and are also guaranteed a place in the next round.

Star opposite Tijana Boskovic, the Most Valuable Player in the Serbian triumph at the 2018 World Championship, had her third-best offensive output in this year’s edition of the tournament, producing a match-high 23 points. The 25-year-old, left-handed attacker registered 19 kills, three blocks and one ace.

“We wanted to finish this match as quickly as possible and we’re very happy that we managed to win it in three sets,” Boskovic commented. “I think we played well, especially in the first half of the match. Our focus wasn’t the same in the third set, but I’m happy that we came back and won it. Getting to the quarterfinals undefeated is great, but we know that not losing matches becomes far more important from now on. The three most important matches are ahead of us and I feel we’re very strong right now.”

Head coach Daniele Santarelli also celebrated great performances from Brankica Mihajlovic and Maja Aleksic. The two had their most productive matches in the tournament with the 31-year-old outside hitter tallying 15 points (12 kills, one block, two aces) and the 25-year-old middle blocker adding another 13 (ten kills, three blocks).

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Mihajlovic had her best performance in the tournament against the Turkish

Outside hitters Derya Cebecioglu, with 13 points (11 kills, one block, one ace), and Saliha Sahin, with 12 (ten kills, one block, one ace), led the heavily-rotated Turkish team that faced the Serbians.

Earlier on Saturday, the United States mounted a fantastic comeback to emerge victorious in a five-set (23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 27-25, 15-13) battle against Thailand. The Americans have secured second place in the pool with seven wins and 20 points.

The fourth and final Pool F spot in the quarterfinals will be determined later on Saturday, following the conclusion of the matches involving Poland (five wins, 15 points) and the Dominican Republic (four wins, 14 points). The Europeans face Germany while the Caribbeans play against NORCECA rivals Canada.