Sapporo and Toyama, Japan, September 21, 2019 – Serbian opposite and captain Ana Bjelica leads the scoring race after five matches in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup.
Ana Bjelica leads as Serbia enter the court in one of their matches in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup
Bjelica has tallied 120 points from 101 attacks, 11 blocks and eight aces. Taking matters into her own hands, the 27-year-old Serbian top scored in her team's five matches in Hamamatsu, powering them to three match victories.
In their first two losses, Bjelica scored 24 points against Brazil, then hit the 20-point scoring mark when Serbia faced the United States.
Bjelica did not give up and continued to work hard by scoring in double figures, this time giving her team a taste of victory in their next three encounters. She recorded 12 points in Serbia's straight-set win over Kenya, then took her game a notch higher with 29 points against Argentina and 35 points against the Netherlands.
Her 35-point performance is the highest number of points scored by a player in a match in this tournament, which demonstrates what an impact the opposite has had for her team.
“Physically I am not in the best condition, but I am mentally. Each year that I play, I gain experience, so I am 27 right now and I feel like I am at the height of my career, playing at the top level,” Bjelica said.
“I’m really happy that I can help the team and show myself, because in the national team, the best in this position is Tijana Boskovic. And now that I have this time and chance to play, I really try my best all the time.”
Among the top five scorers in the competition so far are Russia’s Nataliya Goncharova (92 points), the Dominican Republic’s Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez (88 points), Japan’s Yuki Ishii (82 points) and China’s Zhu Ting (78 points).China's Zhu Ting soars over the Japanese blockers
In the other skill categories, Chinese superstar Zhu is the most successful hitter, as she drilled 68 attacks out of 115 attempts. Russia’s Irina Koroleva is the best blocker so far with a high 0.84 average blocks per set, while Argentina’s Paula Yamila Nizetich is the leading server.Japan's Miya Sato sets up her teammates
In the non-scoring categories, Miya Sato is the best playmaker with a setting average of 16.53 per set. In defence, Dominican Republic libero Larysmer Martinez Caro is the best digger, while United States outside hitter Kelsey Robinson is the best receiver.Youtube