So, Italy's path to the semis is now Belgium, Russia. I don't think they'll like it
So, Italy's path to the semis is now Belgium, Russia. I don't think they'll like it
That would really shake things up quite a bit
Uhm, if France wins 3-1, do they actually finish 3rd in the group and Belgium 4th?
I'm afraid Lazović won't be of much use anymore. She's barely played since what, early June, so expecting her to just step onto court and find her groove just like that simply isn't realistic. And the worst thing is that Terzić had enough confidence in her two years ago when she was just a rookie to bring her in to serve against Poland at the OQT, at the end of a VERY tense and tight fourth set with so much at stake, and it paid off. Why she's being ignored right now when she's a much better player (and her competition for the spot in the starting line-up is much weaker in Brankica's absence) is just inexplicable.
Also, I'm questioning just how much they're enjoying playing at home. Of course they're saying they are, because duh, but it really doesn't look to be the case. And it was exactly the same 10 years ago when we had a team that should have barely dropped a set en route to the title and instead we witnessed them struggling against the likes of France and Romania and then of course those epic battles in the semis and finals. Terzić openly admitted later that he didn't know how to relieve the pressure of playing at home and it seems he still hasn't learned it.
Honestly it's kinda hard to watch this team at this point. It's obvious most of them are just too drained and are simply trying desperately hard to squeeze out the little bit of energy they have left just because they're playing at home. Maja looks scary, she's visibly unwell and I'm just praying she's not going to mess up health in the long run.
In a way it sucks that ECh is played in Belgrade, I can understand it was supposed to be the farewell of this generation and no better place to do it than in front of your own crowd, but with COVID pushing the Olympics back a year this tournament is literally the last thing this team needed. They should have pulled a Russia and sent a young squad mixed with some more experienced players, but it's not possible this way. At the very least there really was no need for the A team to play every single match against the likes of Bosnia and Azerbaijan, but with Terzić's stubborness reaching new heights I don't even know what to say anymore.
Maja apparently has "a minor health issue" that kept her out of the game. Terzić also didn't give any statement after the match, which is unusual. I thought the atmosphere in the team looked a bit weird. I wonder if everything is alright.
I'm really looking forward to BEL vs RUS today! Also FRA vs BIH should be interesting as it's essentially a battle for the 4th place in the group.
Greece looks to be the flop of the tournament so far.
The real issue is that Bošković had no business playing this match in the first place, but I guess she needed to because it was hyped as "the battle of the sisters" in our media. Also Kocić should have played instead of Rašić, Lazović should have played more and I wanted to say that Maja should have also been spared but then again Mirković on court is never a good sight.
She was actually supposed to join Fenerbahce before she got pregnant.
There was another interview with her and she says she's not counting out continuing her career IF she can live and play in the same city with her husband.
Obviously, chances of that happening this season are almost none, but we can cross our fingers for the future.
I do believe it will be the condition, in theory at least.
As usual, the national volleyball federation is doing a miserable job marketing wise, I believe most people here are completely unaware that ECh is about to start in a couple of days. And it really should have been played in Pionir instead of Arena, the atmosphere is going to be ghastly.
Unfortunately, this tournament will have to go on without my presence. The COVID situation here is not great and getting worse by the day and the immunosuppresive therapy I'm undergoing has probably rendered the vaccination from almost 6 months ago useless by now, so I can't take any chances.
I'm not ready for this
THE ultimate fave of mine of all times and there will never be anyone like her again. God dammit, she could have easily played until Paris. I mean, I totally understand her decision, but I'm still devastated
And now she simply has to play the ECh, I don't even care what sort of shape she's in. She missed out on playing the Euro at home once already, she deserves to have this kind of farewell. If Terzić doesn't select her after bringing Brankica to Tokyo to be a cheerleader, I'm gonna throw eggs at him.
Well, it looks like Terzić isn't going anywhere. He said in an interview yesterday that he'll remain the NT coach "as long as he has the drive and motivation". I can't really imagine him ever getting fired, so it's all up to him basically.
He said he wanted to step down after the fiasco at ECh '09, but the people from the national federation convinced him to stay. He also said he had the offer to take over the Russian NT at some point, but he declined because he cannot see himself coaching a team other than Serbia, although Russia is the closest thing in his eyes.
And in another non-news, we still don't know the ECh squad.
If I remember correctly that was really weird. I think Sanja Malagurski played alomost the whole summer as the opposite and many people though her plac was locked.
There were also Bjelica and Brakocević in the trening camp. Nobody really knew who Boskovic was. She just played some friendly games right before the WCH started and surprisingly called for WCH.
It all happened really fast. Tijana was with the junior NT earlier that summer, playing at the WCh. Brakočević was recovering from injury but her there was no doubt she'd be there at the WCh, it was just the question whether Malagurski or Bjelica would be her back-up. But then Tijana made a good impression on the junior squad, got called to train with the A team, made an even better impression there and ultimately made it to WCh. And not only that, she got to be in the starting line-up immediately. Nobody knew it was going to happen until the night before the opening match against Turkey, not even Tijana. She talked about how stunned she was, how lost she felt and how sorry she was for Brakočević who got to be on the bench and Bjelica who stayed at home. Stefana Veljković was her roommate and she helped her to calm down and focus. And already in the first match Tijana was brilliant and showed everyone that putting her as the starter was the right thing to do.
And that's why it's so annoying that the coach who once had the guts to bench his best player because he felt that an even better was coming up and deserved a chance to play (and was right about that!) didn't have the same courage at these Olympics to cut Mihajlović out when it obvious she's nowhere near ready to play. But I guess it's true that most people do get more conservative with age.
An interesting interview with Jovana Brakočević after the QF against Italy. First she praises Maja A LOT and says she's the main reason she's following and supporting the team so much.
The second part is where it's as she talks about her "rivalry" with Tijana Bošković. She says that the reality of the sports is that sometimes you simply have to make room for the young upcoming talents, and in order to do so, you need to "sacrifice" other players. And she experienced it on her own skin at WCh '14 where she was benched so Tijana would be the starter. It hurt her a lot at the time, but from this perspective she realizes it was the right thing to do because it helped Tijana to grow and become the player she is now, and at the end it's all about what's best for the team. Later she tried to catch up with Tijana but eventually she realized that no matter how hard she trained she simply was never going to be as good as her, that Tijana with all the talent she has is also a lot superior physically and it's something she just cannot compete against. And now she's made her peace with everything that happened and realizes what a privilege it was to play alongside someone like Tijana.
You rarely get to hear someone being so brutally honest about themselves and their abilities. I still don't think she's quite over what happened in 2014, but it's alright. There are things in life that are always going to hurt no matter what.
Yeah, that's what she said, that at this point it looks more likely that she'll go. Tijana also said she'll do everything she can to convince her.
I don't know. If she's in good shape by then and really willing to play, why not. But it better not be another Mihajlović-like fiasco or Rašić half-assed attempt.
Already at these Olympics I was wondering if she's playing more out of sense of duty then a real desire, I imagine it's not going to get better in 3 years time.
But we'll see, there still a long way to go.
I do not deny that VNL could have been a good place for training and seeking solutions to all problems, but in the case of Serbia with Terzic
at the helm it simply would not have any impact, it was clear from the start of the announcement of preparations that it has already been decided in advance who will go to the Olympics, maybe even last year LOL, with stubborn Terzic at the helm, VNL would have no contribution.
That's true, and that's another serious blunder, because it made very little sense to make the squad selection so early, especially after such a long NT break and the awkward COVID-affected season. Even more surprising because he's known to wait until the last moment to make the selection, so it's really hard to understand what happened now.
I totally agree that we need a fresh start, but I seriously doubt we're going to get it. I don't see any coaches in Serbia ready to take over and really wish we'd get someone from abroad. The chances for that are basically zero, though, and it's most likely going to be someone from Terzić's circle. If it's Vladisavljev, I'm gonna boycott the team and I'm being serious.
For what it's worth, I don't think Stefana will leave the NT just yet. I believe Brankica was also planning to hang around, but with her body giving up on her, it's hard to imagine. What's certain is that Rašić, Blagojević and Silvija Popović are done with their (NT) careers after this year. Ognjenović most likely too, but she did allow a slim chance of playing next year too.
I'm extremely displeased with the way they played against Brazil and USA, i.e. the teams that are actually good. I wasn't expecting amazing things before the tournament and I would have been perfectly satisfied with the bronze, but frankly, now I don't even care if they win it because what they showed in this competition was far below top level.
It's time for Terzić to go. He's done phenomenal things and the miracle of Serbian women's volleyball is something that can never be replicated (or explained, really), but it's clear he no longer has it. The entire preparation for these Olympics has been a series of blunders. WHY take an obviously unfit player, no matter what her name and reputatop is? Mihajlović should have never been there. If you're not ready to play in the Olympic semifnal, what's your point of being there. He might have as well brought Nikolić out of retirement for another Olympic ride. OTOH, leaving Lazović at home is simply inexplicable and it makes me question his motives. When have we ever played well without an offensive OH?
The decision to skip the VNL is also questionable. I wasn't sure what to make of it but now I believe they should have given it a go. No amount of training can replace actually matches and it might have served to sharpen them up and make some things more clear, for example, find the OH duo that actually works.
But the worst thing is that even after all this time and all the success they've had, he never managed to instill the real belief into his team that they really ARE that good. No matter what they say, I always feel they approach every big match like it's still 2006 and they're the underdogs. That's not how a team that the current World champion should think.
Also, Rašić should have been honest with herself first and foremost and leave her place to someone who's actually willing to play, if she can't find it in herself any longer.
They might well still win the bronze, but if it happens, they should all hand their medals out to Tijana Bošković. And she deserved better.
I'm sure none of them are going to pass on the opportunity to play in front of their home crowd again and it would be a perfect farewell for those who are retiring from the NT.
It's just a question who'll be the extra two players. I sure hope Stefana will be there, especially since she missed the ECh '11 in Belgrade. The other one is hopefully Lazović. IMO we don't need the second libero, Blagojević can take over if required.
While I'll definitely never be right-wing, I'm also certainly not as leftist as I used to be until a couple of years ago, for a whole variety of reasons I can't be bothered to get into.
It's partly why I don't post here as much as I used to.