The best NT matches

  • Hi peeps, as a volleyball lover you must have your so called very unforgettable NT matches, it doesn't matter how many years ago those were played, but I thought it would be fun to share.

    Here's the list of mine.



    1. European Championship 2007 preliminary round

    The Netherlands 2-3 Serbia (Hasselt, Belgium)


    K.Staelens-Flier-Wensink-Visser-C.Staelens-Stam-Van Tienen

    Ognjenovic-Spasojevic-Citakovic-Krsmanovic-Nikolic-Molnar-Cebic


    Such a thrilling match, Spasojevic played as OPP and managed to score whenever the team needed her, on the other hand Flier wasn't at her best in critical moments.

    The 4th set and tie break really showed the real beauty of volleyball, It was once upon a go but I still remember the passion of the players.

    Ognjenovic wasn't very fond of using the middles back then, probably only with Cikakovic who I believe had the quickest slide attacks along with Gioli and Ravva, Krsmanovic usually used to attack in front of her setter and it wasn't as effective as slide.

    I miss this dutch team so bad, the Staelens sisters, Flier, Stam, Visser, Wensink, Huurman and Blom ;)



    2. European Olympic Qualifications 2008

    Poland 3-2 Germany (Halle, Germany)


    Sadurek-Skowronska-Dziekiewicz-Liktoras-Glinka-Podolec-Zenik

    Hart-Grun-Furst-Sussuchke-Pachale-Dumler-Beier


    Another crazy thrilling match, I think this one was posted by Phil yesterday, if you haven't watched it, you should! Especially if you like the old Polish team.

    Podolec practically brought the win with her standing serves, Pachale being a shaky receiver wasn't a new thing but also Dumler and Beier were struggling in passing in the tie-break.

    I still wonder how this Polish team managed to win the 2nd prize of this tournament with Glinka-Podolec in reception :lol: It's more or less like Mihajlovic-Plak duo passing.

    If I remember correct, it was the last NT match of Dumler, Hart and Pachale and I have to say that it's such a pity that Dziekiewicz couldn't make the cut for the Olympic Games, she and Liktoras were the best Polish middles, of course along with Agata Mroz who passed away.



    3. World Championship 2010 Final

    Russia 3-2 Brazil (Tokyo, Japan)


    Startseva-Gamova-Perepelkina-Borodakova-Sokolova-Kosheleva-Kryuchkova

    Fabiola-Sheilla-Fabiana-Thaisa-Jaqueline-Natalia Pereira-Fabi


    The tie-break was epic, at some point the match was going for Brazil but after Perepelkina's block everything turned out.

    Gamova was way too strong for this level back then.


    4. European Championship 2011 Final

    Serbia 3-2 Germany (Belgrade, Serbia)


    Ognjenovic-Malagurski-Rasic-Krsmanovic-Nikolic-Molnar-Cebic

    Weiss-Kozuch-Furst-Ssuschke-Grun-Brinker-Tzscherlich


    Such an unforgettable match owing to the quality but of course also Matthes serve in the tie-break :aww:

    It was really fun the Serbian girls holding the trophy and being surrounded by their own people in Belgrade.


    5. European Championship 2013 Play off

    Croatia 3-2 The Netherlands (Halle, Germany)


    Grbac-Fabris-Poljak-Milos-Jerkov-Topic-Malevic

    Stoltenborg-Pietersen-de Kruijf-Steenbergen-Buijs-Grothues-Knip


    Croatia was absolutely the underdog and I honestly had 0 expectation...but then they made it.


    6. Olympic Games 2016 Semi Final

    Serbia 3-2 USA (Rio de Janiero, Brazil)


    Ognjenovic-Boskovic-Rasic-Stevanovic-Mihajlovic-Malesevic-Popovic

    Glass-Lowe-Akinradewo-Adams-Hill-Larson-Banwarth


    How could one forget this match? Boskovic was a beat in the tie-break, I couldn't believe how fearless she was, using spiking serves at such a critical point :white:

    Akinradwo seemed to get injured, was it in 3rd set or 4th or so? Such an unlucky situation for the US.


    7. World Championship 2018 Final

    Serbia 3-2 Italy (Yokohama, Japan)


    Ognjenovic-Boskovic-Rasic-Veljkovic-Mihajlovic-Busa-Popovic

    Malinov-Egonu-Chirichella-Danesi-Sylla-L.Bosetti-De Gennaro


    8. European Olympic Qualification 2020 Final

    Turkey 3-2 Poland (Apeldoorn, The Netherlands)


    Akyol-Boz-Dundar-Gunes-Baladin-Ismailoglu-Akoz

    Wolosz-Smarzek-Alagierska-Kakolewska-Stysiak-Medrzyk-Stenzel


    Poland had numerous chances to end the game up but Smarzek couldn't just kill a ball and Boz was just great, I swear I hadn't had watched her play like that before, both setters were bad IMO. Dundar and Akoz were the key.



    What are your favorite games?

  • This is the match when I fall in love in my Queen Samanta Fabris.


    She came in, in 4th set(losing 21:18 ) turn around the set and won match by herself in 5th set (8 points.) My God

    1:43:29

  • 1) Olympics 2004 Semi Final, Russia-Brazil


    Best comeback of volleyball history. 24-19, 13-10.



    2) European Championship 2003, Turkey-Russia


    It's the breaking point of Turkish women volleyball.



    3) Olympics 1996 Semi Final, Cuba-Brazil


    I knew Cuba won but I didn't know about the fight at the end when I watched this game first time. Damn, it was mind blowing.



    4) European Olympic Qualification 2012 Semi Final, Turkey-Russia


    Another breaking point of Turkish women volleyball and the best athmosphere I've ever been.



    5) Olympics 2004 Final, Brazil-Italy


    I think Bernardinho and Ricardinho changed the style of international men's volleyball with this gold medal.


  • My favourite NT match is Russia-Brazil from 2004 OG semifinal.

    I just still can't believe that such scenario happened, especially during Olympic semifinal game.

    Also somehow I like these Athens games.

  • Great topic Emil


    This would be my list:


    1. European Championship 2011, Final Serbia vs Germany (Belgrade, Serbia)


    I dont think i need to talk too much about this match, it is not the most quality one im my life, but certainly a favorite and i will never forget the crowded "Pionir Hall" where people sit on the stairs, it was the first women's high class volleyball match o watched live in my life (National team competitions). I bought tickets couple of weeks before the final and pray for Serbia to make it to the final, and the outcome couldn't have been better, GOLD.


    2. Olympic Games, semifinal USA vs Serbia 2-3 (Rio, Brasil)


    If we rejected the sentimental feelings tl the first match, this would certainly be the first on the list by quality amd how much i enjoyed watching it. Ofc an unforgettable and stressful second half lf the fifth set, a great volleyball from both sides, a fight of nerves and finally, victory and at that moment the greatest success in the history of Serbian women's volleyball.


    3.World Championship 2018, final Serbia vs Italy 3-2 (Yokohama, Japan)


    4.World Championship 2010, final Russia vs Brasil 3-2 (Tokyo, Japan)


    5.Olympic Games 2012, 1/4 final Brasil vs Russia 3-2 (London, UK)


    6. Olympic Games 2008, Bronze medal match China vs Cuba 3-1 (Beijing, China)

    Actually i dont remember why but i know that i enjoy in this match a lot.


    7. World Cup 2007, RR Serbia vs USA 3-1 (Nagoya in Japan)

    Veljkovic first tournament in national team and match with 9blocks with just 17yo

    8. Eurovolley 2017, semifinal Azerbeijan vs Netherlands 2-3 (Baku, Azerbeijan)


    9. Olympic Games, Group B Serbia vs China 3-0 (Rio, Brasil)

    Amazing match for Serbia, unfortunately wasn't in the final.


    10. Cev Olympic qual, semifinal Turkey vs Poland 3-2

  • crovolley I really enjoyed the match, even though I was rooting for the dutch girls, Fabris was the game changer hands down, I remember the other girls tossing her into the air after the win :lol: IMO the main key of Croatia's success of that tournament (being the 5th) was the OHs, Jerkov-Topic duo did a really good job both in passing and attacking and Grbac wasn't so bad at all, besides Malevic aka the new girl was a positive surprise. Too bad that your team couldn't continue like that in the next years.


    Bogdan123 Yes, the EC 2011 was an epic tournament for Serbians, I kinda had lost hopes when Brakocevic was struggling but Malagurski did a good job replacing her, really enjoyed the crazy atmosphere, fans rooting for their girls and honestly I wasn't a big fan of Jelena Nikolic but she deserved all she got as captain.

    Also I'm glad that you mentioned regarding Stefana's first match in senior match against USA, she was so brave and didn't even seem to be nervous at all and Terzic made a great decision letting her play over Isajlovic who I think wasn't good enough. As a Spasojevic biased guy I wasn't very happy but they were absolutely strong. When the final roster was published I was questioning myself, "Where are Spasojevic, Djerisilo and Krsmanovic" who contributed to the bronze the last year before ^^

  • What you said about Maja not favouring middles and Stefana being so fearless and given chances, even at 17, at such a big stage are connected, IMO. At that time, Serbia was very poor in middles. That's why, as our Joana once said, both Stefana and Milena were given chances straight out of diapers.:lol:

  • European Olympic Qualification 2020 Final Turkey 3-2 Poland (Apeldoorn, The Netherlands)


    This is my favorite match. I've watched it 4 times and every time I feel the same excitement. What an epic set it was!


    2004 OG final China-Russia 3-2


    This was my second favorite match. This match is extra special for me because this was the first match I've ever watched and fell in love with volleyball. So many iconic players were in that match

  • Janko Yes, back then Serbia was focusing on Nikolic-Djerisilo or Nikolic-Brakocevic rather than the middles and I remember Terzic not being so content with them either, not that Vesna-Natasa duo were bad, but just not enough to battle with Brazil, China and Italy who I think had the best middles and the games showed it. When you won the bronze in 2006 there was Aleksandra Rankovic, a year later Isajlovic and then in Halle Avramovic, that meant that the head coach was testing all he had got.


    The appearance of Rasic was kinda surprising to me, she already looked like a veteran, not only her look but also her performance in 2009 :lol: And then Veljkovic kept developing herself, Krsmanovic being classy, new Ninkovic (I remember the game where she blocked Thaisa twice in a row:super:), Stevanovic, Mina Popovic and now Aleksic, Serbia are definitely gifted with Mbs now.

  • For me


    Croatia vs Russia ECH 2015.

    Only team who won match against Russia at ECH, with clear 3:0.


    Croatia vs Russia ECH 2013.


    Croatia vs Dutch ECH 2013.


    Croatia vs Japan WCH 2014. We won.


    Croatia vs Russia 2017.

    This match because I watched live Natalia Goncharova for the first time. I was 1m from Russian NT bus in front of venue in Croatia :cheesy:

  • serdar I agree but I don't want to watch the game ever again :D though that doesn't mean that I did not enjoy Turkey's performance, Erdem was beyond everything, I always knew she was good, especially her slides, but now she's more like a complete player with dominant blocks. Akoz was also stunning, she had everything a good libero must have.

  • My Games are:

    Italy vs Russia 3-0, European Championship SF 2007

    Dominant game by Italy, almost every player at her peak especially Del Core and Barazza who had stellar performances. And of course Aguero, who imo elevated the team to the next level.


    Italy vs Brazil 3-0, World Cup 2007

    Beating Brazil was usually a mission impossible, especially without injured Lo Bianco, but then Ferretti did a good job eventually. I remember Ze Roberto was a bit pissed and said Italy won because of Aguero or something like that.


    Italy vs USA 2-3, Olympics QF 2008

    Italy was close to the SF but then Lang Ping changed the diagonal, Berg made the difference, not just with her setting but especially with her jump serves.


    Italy vs Czech Republic 2-3, World Championship 2010

    Another upset that basically eliminated Italy. The Czech team was lead by the young duo Havlickova-Havelkova, especially Havlickova who was unstoppable that day.


    Italy vs Germany 3-2, World Cup 2011

    Germany swept Italy at the European Championship but at this tournament Costagrande was back at her natural position and made all the difference for Italy, not just in this game but in the whole competition.


    Italy vs China 3-2, World Championship SF 2018

    The 4th and 5th sets were heartbreaking. After losing the 4th set, I thought Italy would have mentally collapsed but then special mention to Egonu who showed such bravery until the end.

  • serdar I agree but I don't want to watch the game ever again :D though that doesn't mean that I did not enjoy Turkey's performance, Erdem was beyond everything, I always knew she was good, especially her slides, but now she's more like a complete player with dominant blocks. Akoz was also stunning, she had everything a good libero must have.

    Eda has always been a balanced MB (not one of those pure blocker MBs or only attacking ones), her performance for sure improved throughout her career but I don't think her blocking was ever her weak suit. I also don't agree with your comment about the setters at that match. I think Naz did a pretty good job in that match thanks to her experience while Cansu's performance was very shaky

  • I forgot to add Russia-Serbia in EC 2013 Semi finals where the Russians played a completely different style of volleyball.


    It was Pankova's life-match I'd say, she fooled the Serbian blockers by using the middles, in particular Morozova killed so many balls with slide, Shylyakhovaya (jeez, this name has driven me nuts) in very unexpected moments. Pasynkova did a solid job in passing and was able to score with faster sets. Of course, Kosheleva saved Russia's ass whenever she needed to and Goncharova ended the game.


    On the other hand nothing really worked for Serbia, even the flow wasn't following them. Too many unforced errors, especially in serving and none of the OHs played good enough, the absence of Mihajlovic due to injury was kinda huge. I remember Maja said Russia never had shown plays like this, that's where the loss came from and I agreed with her.

  • Eda has always been a balanced MB (not one of those pure blocker MBs or only attacking ones), her performance for sure improved throughout her career but I don't think her blocking was ever her weak suit. I also don't agree with your comment about the setters at that match. I think Naz did a pretty good job in that match thanks to her experience while Cansu's performance was very shaky

    I meant Wolosz and Akyol, not Ozbay :)


    I don't know why but Erdem to me always has been more like a runner than blocker.

  • Nice thread and many cool suggestions already. A few more:


    Poland vs USA 2-3, Olympics 2008


    I hadn't seen a lot of volleyball at the time so I may remember the quality as being a bit better than it really was but it was hugely dramatic with Poland needing to win to qualify from the pool and coming so close. I was an impressionable teenager at the time and I remember being so upset for Poland, especially Skowronska but also being so impressed with some of the USA players - Tom was fantastic. An important match in me becoming a fan of the sport.


    Dominican Republic vs China 2-3, World Championship 2014


    DOM played a number of 5 set matches in this competition but this was my favourite because Castillo was absolutely brilliant. She just seemed to dig everything, it was incredible. It wasn't just Castillo of course, DOM in general played at the top of their game and in the end China were too good, but it was a really good battle and surely one of the best libero performances I've seen.


    Russia vs Serbia 2-3, World Cup 2015


    After losing the first match to China, Serbia pretty much needed to win every other match they played in the World Cup to get the ticket to Rio. The whole run was exciting as they played 5 set matches against USA, Japan and shockingly Argentina as well but it's this match I've chosen because I really enjoyed the firepower of Goncharaova + Kosheleva vs Boskovic + Mihajlovic. But in the end those hitters were pretty equal to each other and it was the introduction of Malesevic for Nikolic that improved Serbian reception and allowed Ognjenovic to use the middles to best effect that was the main reason for the Serbian victory in my opinion.


    Brazil vs China 2-3, Olympics 2016


    China hadn't played great in the pool while Brazil had sailed through without losing a set so I stupidly thought that Brazil would win fairly comfortably. The first set only confirmed what I already thought but China raised their level dramatically. Fe Garay was great, Zhu was great, the atmosphere was amazing and the emotions at the end said it all. It was hard not to be pleased for China and so sad for the Brazil players who had given everything at their home Olympics.


    Serbia vs Turkey 3-2, European Championship 2019


    The atmosphere here was absolutely off the charts, it really was incredible and Turkey used the emotion from the crowd to play almost as well as they can. The number of twists and turns was ridiculous, this was an absolute thriller.


    I'm sure there are many more, but those the the ones that come to mind straight away as well as some of the ones others have mentioned.

  • 1. Japan - Thailand 3:2, World Olympic Qualifications for Rio 2016

    Really heart-breaking moment for Thai volleyball fans.


    2. Poland - Germany 3:2, European Olympic Qualifications 2008

    That tie-break was legendary for polish volleyball.


    3. Belgium - Serbia 3:2, EuroVolley 2013

    Belgium won the bronze medal and their way to achieve this success wasn't that easy.


    4. Belgium - France 3:2, EuroVolley 2013

    Really interesting game, however french players didn't have power to kill the balls in 5th set.


    5. Serbia 3-2 Germany, EuroVolley 2011

    Germany was co close to win it, but Guidetti never wins gold on EuroVolley :D


    6. Germany - Croatia 3:0, EuroVolley 2013

    That game was so funny to watch. Croatia was really close in each set, there was a lot of discussions with referres. Cro coach didn't want to shake Guidetti's hand at the end of the game and Giovanni started yelling 'vaffanculo' :D Probably the best Croatia's roster in recent years. S. Popović, the MVP of 2013 CEV Cup and Senna Usić were bench players back than.


    7. Turkey - Poland 3:2, European Qualification for Tokio 2020

    There is nothing to comment. Really thrilling game.


    8. Dominican Republic - China 2:3, WCH 2014

    Dominican Republic had really good tournament and they were so close to end up it in final 4. As Sisko95 wrote, amazing performance by Castillo!

  • I meant Wolosz and Akyol, not Ozbay :)


    I don't know why but Erdem to me always has been more like a runner than blocker.

    I agree, both setters had a very bad match to me as well, ofc I know both are well known and setters with a great carreer. Both are usually classified as world-class setters which I would still agree with, but they had a bad match to me also.


    I expected more of a leader from Wolosz in those clutch times, she was quite basic and had shaky sets at times. Throughout the tournaments she was ok but nowhere near her Conegliano performance at least to me. I still agree that she is an amazing setter. Clicking with every team is something basically no setter can immediately do except for maybe Maja.


    Naz had a few good moments but also singlehandedly almost gave away the match a few times if I recall correctly, esp. a certain set to Eda which gave Poland another matchpoint after a Turkish lead, I expected it to be the turning point tbh (end of the match)

  • I meant Wolosz and Akyol, not Ozbay :)


    I don't know why but Erdem to me always has been more like a runner than blocker.

    I think at that game Naz has set great balls to Meryem and Eda. Also her blocks and serves contributed a lot to the win