Q&A with Milena Rasic: Always learning something new


Milena Rasic won gold with Serbia at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship in Japan

Lausanne, Switzerland, January 24, 2019 – Serbian middle blocker Milena Rasic took some time out to look back at the most successful year in her career in this interview with Rasic won gold with Serbia at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship in Japan in October before claiming victory with her club team VakifBank Istanbul at the Women's Club World Championship in December.

What started your winning run?
Milena Rasic: After playing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and winning silver for Serbia, our team became one of the medal contenders at every competition. In Rio, we showed how amazing we can be as a team and how mentally strong we can be in key moments. I don’t really know what happened back there but I am happy and proud of how we have continued to improve since. And yes, since 2016 we’ve been playing at a really high level and I hope we can keep that going as long as possible.

How would you describe the feeling of being a world champion?
Milena Rasic: Those moments are lifetime memories – something you can never forget. Being a world champion is something I cannot really describe in words. Actually we needed a couple of extra days to realise what a huge result we achieved in Japan.

How did you feel when you got a big welcome from your supporters after winning the World Championship?
Milena Rasic: I want to thank our people in Serbia who made that moment even more special with the homecoming. Thousands of people were there just because of us - to celebrate that gold. That night we really felt like world champions, with our people, on that balcony. That was a huge thing for a small country like Serbia. We made our people happy and that is what I am most proud of.

How about winning your second World Championship title in 2018?
Milena Rasic: World champion twice in less than two months? Incredible! I didn’t really have enough time to enjoy the success in Japan - I had to focus on the next goal. The year 2018 was the best year ever for me. It’s every athlete’s dream and I feel grateful.

With VakifBank, everything that we show on court explains how good a team we are. We have great atmosphere in the team. We have amazing players and great staff. We work really hard and we are all there for the same goal.

What makes Milena Rasic the best middle blocker in the world?
Milena Rasic: Once again, I am grateful. I am grateful for the chance to work with great coaches, play with some of the best players in the world. I have nothing special to say about me as a middle blocker. I just try to give my best in every single game.

I love what I’m doing and that’s why I am always trying to learn something new, to improve and be better than I was in the last match or training session. That’s my motivation.

If you were to create your own Dream Team, who are the six players - past or present - you would like to play with?
Milena Rasic: I decided to create a Dream Team composed of current players:
Outside Spikers (2): Zhu Ting and Kim Yeon-Koung, simply because I enjoy watching them play. They have great technique, they play smart volleyball and they always know what’s happening on the court. That’s what makes them two of the best players.

Setter (1): Maja Ognjenovic, not because she is Serbian, but she showed so many times why she is one of the best. She is the real brain of our team and that’s what every setter should be.

Opposite (1): Tijana Boskovic because she is officially the best player in the world. She is so young but really talented, strong and intelligent.

Libero (1): Monica De Gennaro because she is everywhere. It can be pretty annoying to play against her. She just doesn’t want to let the ball fall to the ground. She is doing a great job as a libero.

Middle Blocker (1): I’ll make one exception here because unfortunately she doesn’t play anymore, but it was a pleasure watching her on court and trying to learn things from a great blocker like Maja Poljak. What I like most about her is how quick she was when blocking.

What are your expectations for the next edition of the Volleyball Nations League?
Milena Rasic: It’s still early to talk about this summer. We have a lot of things to think about right now. The schedule for this year is pretty long and there are so many competitions. Let’s see first how some of the players finish their club seasons before the start of the VNL. One thing is for sure, we will give our best as always.

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