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Zoran Terzic armed with best Serbian players ahead of Olympic season

Wednesday, 04 May 2016
Zuzanna Dulnik - @ZetDe04
Serbia after winning silver medal at 2015 FIVB World Cup. Photo: FIVB

Zoran Terzic announced names of 30 players who will be competing to make the Olympic roster. Serbia won the Olympic berth as one of the first teams and will be preparing for Rio 2016 playing at the Montreux Volley Masters and World Grand Prix Group 1.

Serbia secured the spot at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, finishing second at the 2015 FIVB World Cup in Japan earlier in September. Terzic’s team was the only from Europe to win an Olympic berth at the World Cup, giving way only to China. Serbian were close to losing its place to USA, after struggling to defeat Argentina, but they eventually won the game 3-2, sending Americans to the third place in the competition.

Among the called names, Terzic found place for his strongest players, including Jelena Nikolic, Maja Ognjenovic, Milena Rasic or Silvija Popovic. Jovana Brakocevic makes her come back to the squad after giving birth to her son in July 2015. She made her first appearance in the squad of new Italian Champion Imoco Volley Conegliano alongside American trio Alisha Glass, Rachael Adams and Kelsey Robinson.

Secured spot at the Olympics gives team not only a piece of mind, but much awaited rest. “We will have a little bit of rest, and honestly that is the thing we need the most after hard season”, said Milena Rasic, who won the Turkish League with her team VakifBank Istanbul last weekend. When commenting on team’s chances in Rio 2016, Rasic explains: Serbia will go there to play and fight till the last point. We know what we can expect there, and that is for sure good volleyball and strong opponents. We’ll be ready for that.”

Her teammate, young star Tijana Boskovic, focuses her expectations around team’s performance: “All I can say is that we will expect a good performance, like we do before every tournament.“

With 30 names on the roster, chances are roughly 50% for all players to make it to the Olympic squad, but both Rasic and Boskovic should be confident of their place in the team. “I am pretty sure he will choose the best ones at that moment”, commented Rasic on the matter.

Serbia will take the first test of their form at the end of May, competing in Montreux Volley Masters. In pool B they will play against Netherlands, Switzerland and Thailand. If they qualify further, they will meet best teams of Pool A: Belgium, Brazil, China or Turkey.

After the competition in Switzerland the team will travel to Rio de Janeiro, to begin World Grand Prix Group 1 at 9th of June. their first rivals will be Brazil, Italy and Japan.

Team Serbia

Setters:

  • Maja Ognjenovic
  • Bojana Zivkovic
  • Danica Radenkovic
  • Sladana Mirkovic

Opposites:

Middle blockers:

  • Milena Rasic
  • Stefana Veljkovic
  • Jovana Stevanovic
  • Maja Savic
  • Mina Popovic
  • Maja Aleksic
  • Natasa Krasmanovic
  • Nada Ninkovic
  • Ivana Kocic

Wing spikers:

  • Jelena Nikolic
  • Brizitka Molnar
  • Brankica Mihajlovic
  • Tijana Malesevic
  • Bjanka Busa
  • Jovana Vesovic
  • Ivana Derisilo
  • Ljiljana Rankovic
  • Bojana Milenkovic
  • Katarina Lazovic

Libero:

  • Silvija Popovic
  • Suzana Cebic
  • Teodora Pusic

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