Serbia seek rebound against Japan after first loss


Lausanne, Switzerland, July 14, 2017 - Japan host Serbia Saturday in Sendai, as the Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist look for a rebound after suffering their first defeat of the season on Friday to Brazil. It's the eighth time the two sides come head-to-head in the history of the FIVB World Grand Prix and Japan lead the series with a slim 4-3 - though last time they met Serbia triumphed in five sets in Kyoto last year.

• This will be the eighth World Grand Prix match between these nations. Japan have won four of the previous even, while Serbia have won three, including the most recent one in Kyoto last year on 25 June (3-2).
• The last six encounters between these nations in Japan have all been won by Serbia (all competitions), dating back to the 2011 World Grand Prix.
• Japan have won three of their last 10 World Grand Prix matches against CEV teams, while Serbia could win three in a row against Asian teams for the first time since 2011 (in World Grand Prix).

• Japan won three of their four matches so far at this year's World Grand Prix. The last time they did this was in 2013, when they won the first four.
• Japan could win three matches in a row for the first time since winning eight straight in 2014.
• Risa Shinnabe and Sarina Koga led their team in scoring on Friday with 20 and 18 points respectively. Koga raised her tournament total to 64, a leading mark for Japan.

• Serbia have started their 2017 World Grand Prix campaign with three straight-set wins before losing in three sets against Brazil on Friday.
• This result ended their longest winning streak in the competition (7 matches).
• For the first time since 2015-2016 (4 losses in a row), Serbia could lose back-to-back World Grand Prix matches. One of those four defeats came against Japan.

• Ana Bjelica scored 15 of Serbia’s 63 points against Brazil on Friday. Brankica Mihajlovic (11) was the other Serbian player with double-digit points.


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