All the challenges of female team sports are always, in some way, particularly interesting. It is no secret that it is difficult to maintain continuity in women’s teams, because women are certainly special and different from men, especially in a group. Sounds stereotypical, but that is what experience shows. Women, by nature, notice much more and are also more emotionally reactive. That is why, in my opinion, the success of the women’s volleyball team of Serbia, which has been going on continuously for a very long time, is a very big success. It is certainly the result of extremely high-quality individuals, coaches, but also team dynamics. And that team is made up of women.
From 2006 to today, the women’s volleyball team of Serbia has won 21 medals at major world competitions. Is it small for a country of only 6.5 million inhabitants, I would say not at all. If we include 3 gold medals at the European Championships (2011, 2017, 2019), World Championships (2018, 2022) and silver and bronze medals at the Olympic Games (2016 and 2020), this only shows the extraordinary dedication and inevitable success of all the girls who were part of the national team in those years.
But I would like to make a special mention of Maja Ognjenovic (1984), who plays in a position setter, and Tijana Boskovic (1997), who is a opposite spiker. Each of them, in their own way, contributed to these successes. Maja was part of the national team from 2006 until the World Championship in 2022. Tijana is much younger, she joined the national team in 2014, when she was only 17 years old. At those big competitions, they won individual awards, either as the best setter or opposite spiker or as MVP of the tournament. As true team leaders, they led in the best possible way, to the joy of all of us who love volleyball in Serbia. In all that time, they have been highly regarded in the European clubs where they have competed.
That quality had to come from the high-quality way of working in our clubs, the dedication of sports workers and coaches in this sport, in which perhaps there is not as much money as, for example, in football, but there is love and desire for good results. Serbia is full of children who love sports, who play sports and achieve quite good results. I believe that Maja and Tijana contributed a lot to the popularization of volleyball among girls in Serbia, if individually, but also as exceptional team players.