Curitiba, Brazil, July 5, 2017 - After losing to France on 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League Finals opening day, USA still had semifinal hopes and those became true on Wednesday with Taylor Sander and Thomas Jaeschke leading the way to a 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22) over Serbia.
Sander was the most prolific scorer of the game with 22 points, while Jaeschke trailed a bit behind with 14, but it was just as vital for the win. Aleksandar Atanasijevic, despite starting as a reserve for Serbia, topped his side with 18 tallies and Srecko Lisinac chipped in with 15 as the main players of the European side.
USA now jumped atop of Pool K1 with one win and 4 points, safely avoiding the last place of the standings and hence advancing to the semifinals. The other ticket will go for either France (2 points) or Serbia (none), which will meet in a mouth-watering faceoff this Thursday at 5.40 PM (local).
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USA acquired the first set despite dropping a 19-12 margin. Serbia improved taking their super-scorer Atanasijevic out of the bench to aid Lisinac’s efforts, but their lead on the second chapter vanished at the very end and they had to wait for the next one to claw their back into the game. After reducing their deficit, the defending champions rushed to a lead on the fourth, but the American duo Jaeschke-Sander once again worked and steered the game to its end.