Boskovic waves the Serbian flag after her 24-point performance in the gold medal match against Brazil

Serbia put on a stunning performance at last year's FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship.

Held in the Netherlands and Poland, the 19th edition of the global competition saw Serbia hold on to their title of world champions.

With Daniele Santarelli at the helm, after the Italian replaced longstanding head coach Zoran Terzic, the Europeans again relied on nine players who led them to victory in Japan in 2018. Serbia marched to an undefeated campaign of 12 wins to become just the second national team to win back-to-back editions of the tournament.

Star opposite Tijana Boskovic was again a key factor in Serbia’s success and, again, claimed the World Championship’s Most Valuable Player award. In so doing, she was just the second player to be selected as the MVP in multiple editions of the tournament, repeating what Cuban middle blocker Regla Torres achieved in 1994 and 1998.

“I’m speechless,” she said after the Serbian victory. “These girls, this team, this energy…We did it without losing a single match. I’m so happy and so proud to be part of this team. I want to thank everyone that supported us these past three weeks, especially my family.”


Serbian players pose with their gold medals

The Serbians were one of just two teams to secure a perfect record in Phase 1 of the competition, alongside reigning Volleyball Nations League champions Italy. Boskovic and her teammates split their five Pool C matches between Arnhem, the Netherlands, and Łódź, Poland, and secured victories against Canada, Bulgaria, Germany, Kazakhstan and Olympic champions the United States.

Their good form continued in Phase 2, when the Serbians stayed on in Łódź and topped Poland, the Dominican Republic, Thailand and Türkiye, without dropping a single set. The Serbians battled through arguably the most challenging moment of their campaign in the quarterfinals, when they came back from a set down to defeat Poland in a packed stadium in Gliwice.

Serbia topped the United States again in the semifinals and claimed the title in spectacular fashion, sweeping Brazil in the gold medal match (26-24, 25-22, 25-17) with 24 points from Boskovic and another 11 from middle blocker Jovana Stevanovic.

· Watch World Championship replays on demand on Volleyball TV.

The result catapulted the Serbians to the top of the World Ranking and added a significant new title to the team’s fabulous achievements over the last six years, including two World Championship golds, two Olympic medals (silver at Rio 2016 and bronze at Tokyo 2020), two European titles (2017, 2019) and a bronze medal at the VNL (2022).

“This is an incredible result and our generation has achieved so much,” said outside hitter Bianka Busa. “Defending a world title is really difficult and we did it without a single loss. There were some tough matches, but we never stopped believing and fighting for it.”

VNL champions Italy took a place on the podium again with their third-place finish at the World Championship. The Europeans dominated the United States to a three-set victory in the bronze medal match, four years after they took silver in Japan.

The three teams that made it to the podium also featured the seven players on the tournament’s Dream Team.

FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Netherlands Poland 2022 - Dream Team

Best Setter: Bojana Drca (Serbia)

Best Opposite: Tijana Boskovic (Serbia)

Best Outside Hitters: Gabriela ‘Gabi’ Guimaraes (Brazil) and Myriam Sylla (Italy)

Best Middle Blockers: Ana Carolina ‘Carol’ da Silva (Brazil) and Anna Danesi (Italy)

Best Libero: Teodora Pusic (Serbia)

Italian star opposite Paola Egonu was the World Championship’s top scorer with 275 points (and 244 kills). Other individual standouts included Brazilian middle blocker Ana Carolina ‘Carol’ da Silva (59 blocks), Italian libero Monica De Gennaro (168 digs), and USA's Annie Drews and Caterina Bosetti of Italy (18 aces apiece).