Serbia NT 2019

  • I think the Ankara crowd is one of the best things that happened to volleyball recently tbh! Finally some passionate full halls in volleyball matches, showing not only basketball and football can do that. Such a revelation. It used to be more common back in the days.


    Ech was great in general, hopefully a new era in women's volleyball.

  • She absolutely was, but she was also prone to some very immature/reckless decision making which would then affect the entire team play.

    IMO it's obvious that she's grown a lot in that regard over the last few years and I'm pretty sure it has a lot to do with getting out of that toxic relationship with Teodosić and finding peace and stability in her personal life.

    That it happened to coincide with the rise of Tijana and Brankica is very fortunate for us.

    You nailed it, all of it. The case of Maja Ognjenovic is an incredible tale of a late bloomer (but a "late bloomer" who was also very good early on...if that makes sense), in more than one sense. If you would have made a questionnaire in volleyball circles in 2012, asking for people's thoughts on Maja, at most they would have said that she was a major talent who never achieved anything close to her potential, and probably would not be even regarded as top 50 setters of all time. Also, she was not even the most popular or well-known player in Serbia. She was 28 at the time.


    Now, seven years later, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest setters of 21st century, a living legend of the game, and she is one of only handful of female athletes that is widely beloved and respected in her home country, a country which is very misogynistic in general, and for the most part only cares and "respects" female sports/athletes as far as they are able to drool over them. Plus, what Joana said about her private life, and how she has grown as a person in her late 20s/early 30s.


    Now, I'm not saying that 2012 in specific is a big demarcation point, or that she didn't have at least some of her biggest successes before that (as well as some duds after), but it really puts things into perspective, when you view it from that angle.

  • You nailed it, all of it. The case of Maja Ognjenovic is an incredible tale of a late bloomer (but a "late bloomer" who was also very good early on...if that makes sense), in more than one sense. If you would have made a questionnaire in volleyball circles in 2012, asking for people's thoughts on Maja, at most they would have said that she was a major talent who never achieved anything close to her potential, and probably would not be even regarded as top 50 setters of all time. Also, she was not even the most popular or well-known player in Serbia. She was 28 at the time.


    Now, seven years later, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest setters of 21st century, a living legend of the game, and she is one of only handful of female athletes that is widely beloved and respected in her home country, a country which is very misogynistic in general, and for the most part only cares and "respects" female sports/athletes as far as they are able to drool over them. Plus, what Joana said about her private life, and how she has grown as a person in her late 20s/early 30s.


    Now, I'm not saying that 2012 in specific is a big demarcation point, or that she didn't have at least some of her biggest successes before that (as well as some duds after), but it really puts things into perspective, when you view it from that angle.

    Sorry, but this highlighted is complete bollocks. Successes of female athletes have always been celebrated and acknowledged in Serbia as much as they would have been in any other country. The fact is that women's sports are generally less popular than men's (for various reasons).


    And yes, better looking athletes get more media coverage, but that is not an exclusively serbian thing. E.g. how many people know who Maria Sharapova and how many know who Justine Henin is? Hell, it happens in men's sports as well.


    I mean, sure, Serbia has a lot of issues, but equality in sports isn't one of them.

  • Eh, I don't know. I always have this feeling that this enormous and unprecedented success of our volleyball girls isn't being acknowledged and appreciated enough.

    Do you remember 20 000 people watching women's handball at WCh '13? I didn't expect it in my wildest dreams. I don't think this volleyball team would be able to replicate that and make the Belgrade Arena full to the brim, even though they're much, much, MUCH more successful than the handball team, which hadn't had a decent result in more than a decade before that WCh. Also it's hard to argue that handball is more popular than volleyball in general or that the national handball federation is doing a better job than their volleyball counterparts, just the opposite.

    I mean, it's not that volleyball team is not popular and respected, but something is missing and I can't quite put my finger to it.


    As for sexism, it definitely exists, and the treatment of Ana Ivanović, Jelena Janković and Ivana Španović in Serbian media/public has often been extremely problematic, for various reasons, but I don't think it's all about that.

  • Don't mean to derail this too much, so will try to be brief...


    There is sport equality in Serbia only insomuch as:


    1)On family level, no one sane will prevent a girl to try to be an athlete (at least not anymore than her brother/male cousin), and that daughters, if at all talented in any sport, are equally as encouraged to practice for it as the sons are, since in Serbia's poor economy, getting athletes in the family is one of the most accessible ways to escape poverty.


    2)On social and fan level, if female teams/athletes are very successful, the general public will of course temporarily jump on the cheering/celebrating bandwagon for a few days (to promptly return to ignoring their existence until the next success), because to be successful in sports is one of the only ways that an average Serbian can feel any pride in his country or even feel good about himself.


    But there is no true love, or affection or even real respect for the female athletes and their achievements from vast majority of people.

  • But there is no true love, or affection or even real respect for the female athletes and their achievements from vast majority of people.

    That's sadly very true, but to be fair, it's not limited to female athletes, but rather everyone outside football and basketball (plus Novak Đoković).

  • I don't disagree with either of you, but I still firmly believe that this isn't exclusively a serbian thing.

    I think it is like this almost everywhere. Men`s sports is one thing.....women`s sports is a different thing. I know it is not fair, but that`s how it is unfortunately.


    In the US Basketball is very popular....but I guess we should say Men`s Basketball is popular, because women`s basketball here is not popular at all, same thing with Soccer in Brazil, men`s soccer vs women`s soccer.....it is basically a different sport.


    I just got into tennis lately, and what I noticed is that a women`s match is basically the opening act for a men`s match.


    I don`t think this will ever change...maybe someday...but not anytime soon.


    Just like for example, the modeling industry are dominated by females....they make millions....while the top male models does not make anything compared to the females.


    I think the reception the girls got back from the 2 ECH and WCH.....was truly amazing. I don`t think we would see something like that in many other countries.


    I just hope this Golden Generation can inspire a lot of young girls to keep playing volleyball, and sees them as a role model and feel like they want to be like them one day.

  • I don't disagree with either of you, but I still firmly believe that this isn't exclusively a serbian thing.

    It's not, but at the same time, but we don't have to look very far to find different examples. Janica Kostelić in Croatia, Simona Halep in Romania, to name a few. Adored by everyone and true national heroines. We just don't have anyone like that here, and it's not like we haven't had female athletes with similar results.

    I just hope this Golden Generation can inspire a lot of young girls to keep playing volleyball, and sees them as a role model and feel like they want to be like them one day.

    That is happening and it makes me very happy :)

  • I think it is changing, just very slowly and I agree that it'll never change completely. It's hard to overcome history and male sports have been historically the only sports people cared about in a lot of cases. Here in the UK, the most popular sports are football (by far), rugby and cricket (we don't really care about cricket in Scotland, but it's a big deal in England) and I can see that the female versions of these are generating more and more interest in recent times which is great but they're still SO FAR AWAY from the male versions. That's because they're seen as men's things. A dad teaches his son to support his team, like his dad taught him and his dad's dad, etc. In schools, girls are mainly encouraged to play netball and field hockey but these sports get almost zero media attention and only a small number of people really care about them. People can't continue to watch the amount of men's sport they currently watch and watch the same amount of women's sport as well, they just don't have the time. So they have to pick and they usually pick what they know which is almost always men's sport.


    It's interesting you use tennis as an example considering it is historically one of the more equal sports but you're not exactly wrong. Tennis is one of the few sports where the general public are now caring LESS about the women's version than they used to. This is because the top players are more likely to lose in round 1 than to win a tournament. There are many good players but none of them really stand out, so casual fans don't know or care about them (other than 38 year-old Serena Williams and her quest to win for mothers everywhere :roll:), go back to the early '00s and there were many female players who were quite well-known. Men's tennis on the other hand has barely changed in over a decade. You might like Federer or Nadal or Djokovic. You might not like any of them, maybe you want them all to lose, but you will have some feeling towards them if you care about men's tennis at all. I can pretty much guarantee that at least 1 of them will be in every major final so people will care.


    Sorry, that was far longer than I expected.

  • Sisko95 you are so right about the last part in your post.


    I have felt the same way about tennis, where it is actually not that interesting when the top players can lose in the early rounds. Like Barty and Halep wins a major and then they struggle in early rounds in the next tournament. This should be exciting but it is actually not.


    We can say the same thing about beach volleyball. I personally find more exciting having Mol-Sorum against the world, than having 10 teams on the women's field capable of winning a tournament but also capable of not even making out of pool play the next tournament.

  • Womens tennis is definitely not a great example of sports not being treated equal, WTA also has far more talents than ATP currently who is still being run by Federer and is way more interesting. Who sees WTA as a warming up for ATP o.O never heard that. Usually they are not even treated as the same sport.

  • Womens tennis is definitely not a great example of sports not being treated equal, WTA also has far more talents than ATP currently who is still being run by Federer and is way more interesting. Who sees WTA as a warming up for ATP o.O never heard that. Usually they are not even treated as the same sport.

    I don't agree with that. Take the Big 3 out of the ATP and it would look very much like the WTA does now, with random people winning all the time (except Queen Andreescu) but that wouldn't make the ATP more talented. Neither tour has the right mix of consistency and unpredictability for me right now.

  • This loss was a little tougher to take, because this time they were outplayed by the team from the bottom part of the table . I guess this team will have much more difficulties against Asian teams. In a longer rallies Mirkovic becomes imprecise, also Mbs are having a hard time with opponent's faster game and Bjelica's level dropped down a little and Blagojevic had to take a role of main attacker lots of times. Winning against Japan or taking a set from China is pretty unlikely. I wish they can manage not to drop below 7th place after watching them so long in a fifth place:lol: I hope that we won't see Busa and Blagojevic duo together on court again, because Lazovic and Milenkovic need playing time and they are not performing bad.

  • Yeah, I was really hoping they would beat Korea. Also, it's kinda annoying how they spared KYK against Russia and the Netherlands, but used her against us. :lol: But anyway, it's pretty clear they overachieved a bit in the beginning of the tournament and are now playing more to their real level - which is actually not that bad, but they still have some way to go.

    I thought Lazović would have a bigger role, both here and at the ECh, and I hope she gets to play more in the remaining matches. As for those matches, I hope they can beat the Dominicans (but it's not going to be easy at this point), be competitive against Japan and avoid a total humiliation against China. :gone:

  • I hope that we won't see Busa and Blagojevic duo together on court again, because Lazovic and Milenkovic need playing time and they are not performing bad.

    I totally agree with you in this.

    Send B team it is ok, you wish to give a chance some players gain experience and that is also ok but i do not understand why we played against Russia after three wins with Blagojevic which has 31 years and with Busa which shows herselfe already as a mature player(her attack skills will always be uncosistent). It is not problem to lost against Russia but every match which the oh duo will be Busa- Blagojevic is waste of time and missing target of this tournament.