The Ultimate show on the European Men’s Volleyball stage is set to begin on August 28, with the kick-off match of 2023 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men between the teams of Belgium and the reigning champions of Italy. The fans of the game are already looking forward to seeing some of their favourite stars on the court, competing for the European gold.
The Serbian team, always considered favourite of winning whatever title there it is to be won, has already started their preparation for the Championship. The Serbs will start their 2023 #EuroVolleyM journey from Pool A, where they will lock horns with Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Switzerland and reigning champs of Italy.
Could Uros be Serbia’s trump card once again?
The 30-year-old Kovacevic is known for his humble approach to receiving individual awards. He is always cherishing the individual successes, pointing out that they could not become reality without the support and hard-work of his teammates.
A hard-worker himself, Uros has been playing pivotal role in the Serbian national team for over a decade now. The passion for the volleyball is running through his veins (his elder brother Nikola was a long-time member of the Serbian national team, while his parents were also both volleyball players), and he has been enjoying volleyball, while achieving his goals.
An Olympian, two-times #EuroVolleyM gold medallist (2011, 2019), 2016 FIVB World League titleholder, Kovacevic is well-used to being successful, but never loses the focus.
At the age of 16, he leaves his native Serbia to play abroad for a first time, joining the Slovenian ACH Volley Ljubljana. It was precisely coach Igor Kolakovic who puts his trust in the young outside hitter. The rest is the history, as they say, as Uros’ career path passes through the strongest leagues in the world – the Italian one, the Polish one, and now – in the Russian one.
Before sealing successes with the senior team, Kovacevic called the attention of the specialists more than once, putting in his pocket the 2011 MVP awards at the #EuroVolleyU19M and FIVB U19 World Championship. In the same year, he was recognised by the Olympic Committee of Serbia as Young athlete of the year.
Among other personal achievements are the Best outside hitter at the 2018 FIVB Club World Championship, 2019 #EuroVolleyM MVP and Best outside hitter, 2019 CEV Male Volleyball player of the year, 2019 Male Serbian player of the year, 2022 Best outside hitter at the Polish league etc.
Uros at the last two European Championships
For sure, the biggest achievement for Uros at the #EuroVolleyM is the title, won by the Serbs in 2019. At the competition, the 197 cm tall Kovacevic proved once again the well-rounded player he is.
Besides counting on great technical skills (finished EuroVolley in 2019 with 133 points to his name, an average of 4.43 points per set), he was always the one to take responsibility in the deciding moments, finding the opponents’ weak spot. In the final against Slovenia, he tallied 20 points, consisting of 15 spikes, 1 ace and 4 blocks. Smart and strong when needed, Uros has a remarkable instinct in all the volleyball components, and the final was the ultimate proof of it, as it he also had a reception percentage of 50% positive and 25% excellent.
Serbia finished without a medal at the most recent edition of the European Championship, although they were pretty close to reaching the podium once again. The Serbs finished on 4th place, losing the bronze medal match against Poland, while Uros scored six points in the game (33% exc.).
Overall, he was the 15th best scorer, having played in eight matches (30 sets), finishing with 129 points, an average of 4.3 per set. He became one of five players who recorded 100+ killing spikes (109).
Serbia were left out of contention for medals at this year’s edition of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, as they didn’t make it to the Final Round. However, it’s worth mentioning that many of the Serbian titulars weren’t in the roster for the competition, including Uros.
Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie
In 2021/2022 Uros joined the Polish powerhouse of Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie. In 2022/2023, they finished fourth in the rankings, just a step away from the medals. ,
For two seasons in the Polish elite, Uros has played in 65 matches, recording as many as 1164 points (49 aces, 90 kill blocks). In both seasons he spent on Polish ground, he was named Best Outside hitter and Best Scorer.
From season 2023/2024, Kovacevic will face a new challenge, joining the Russial SuperLeague where he will play for Ural Ufa.
Uros and Zawiercie finished on ninth place in the final rankings of the 2022/2023 CLVolleyM, as they didn’t make it out of the pool phase, playing in Pool B against Halkbank Ankara, Berlin Recycling Volleys and Hebar Pazardzhik. However, finishing as third best ranked team, they had a second chance at the playoffs phase. They couldn’t seize the opportunity and their CLVolleyM journey ended there.
Despite playing in less games (nine matches, 31 sets), compared to other players (top scorer Lukasz Kaczmarek played in 14 matches, 54 sets) Uros finished as fifth-best scorer, tallying 164 points, an average of 5.29 per set.
Kovacevic, as already mentioned, stays humble, and shows calmness and versatility in all aspects of the game, offering a complete all round performance. His approach to the preparation process and the gratefulness he shows, might very well turn out to be the perfect formula for one of the leaders of Serbia at EuroVolley.
“Much smarter people have said it and I can’t say anything different. If you want to reach your goals, you have to work hard, be committed, disciplined and a true professional,”
Uros Kovacevic in an interview for the Serbian Volleyball Federation
Will Uros and Serbia reach the ultimate EuroVolleyM goal this year?
Find out, follow the games live on EuroVolley.TV.