Aix-en-Provence, France, June 8, 2018 - Serbia claimed a fourth straight victory in the 2018 FIVB Nations League as they dominated Argentina 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-22) to start week 4 with a smile.
Drazen Luburic brought a hefty contribution, scoring 20 points, including an impressive total of three aces. Srecko Lisinac also played his part with 16 points as Serbia got better and better throughout the game and delivered when it mattered.
Facundo Conte and Cristian Poglajen both topscored for their side with 15 points but could not over come Argentina's nineteen unforced errors.
Argentina headed into week 4 in France with a desperate need for a win. With just one victory under their belt, a week 2 epic win over Italy in front of the home crowd, the South Americans had no choice but cause an upset. History, however, was on the side of the European, Serbia leading the head-to-head series 19-8.
And Serbia moved ahead early on, making the best of Argentina's unforced errors (4-6). But the South Americans have proved in the past they were a frustrating side and once again clawed back into the game off the back of wing spiker Tomas Lopez (16-12). The Sonder Rosario player was the star of the first set, increasing his side's advantage with thunderous spikes to open up Serbia's solide defense and claim the first set (25-20).
Once more, the Europeans had a bright start but never seemed to be able to get away from the Argetinians (6-4). And they were in for a fight as Argentina and Serbia exchanged blows in a tightly contested second set (15-15). Despite the lethal duo of Facundo Conte and Cristian Poglajen, Serbia inched closer point by point to level the match at 1-1 as the Serbs dug deep when they needed thanks to an efficient block performance (25-23).
Thanks to Drazen Luburic and Srecko Lisinac, Serbia claimed an early 6-2 lead to open up the third set. And the Balkan side remained in cruise control throughout the rest of the set, increasing their lead to a 7-point advantage thanks to the hard work of Neven Majstorovic and Marko Ivovic's ruthlessness (18-12). Nikola Grbic's men now had the momentum and convincingly leapfrogged in front of their opponents as Ivovic added to his ace tally (25-15).
With the wind in their sails, Serbia took the lead once again (5-4). But once again Argentina showed they were no pushovers and fought back to restore their -slender- lead as Conte shined (10-11). And, when the Argentina block sprung into action to give the South Americans a three-point lead (19-16), Serbia needed to find something special to wrap it up. And they did! Despite terrific pressure from Argentina, fighting to the last, Luburic dominated the air battle and led his team to an impressive come from behind victory following another mistake by Argentina (25-22).