Kuzbass Kemerovo and Dinamo Moscow are the most frequent mentioned names in Russia in the context of Russian Superleague playoffs. The first team made the biggest surprise of the first series of plays while the Moscow gang humbled itself in front of all volleyball fan in the world.
Belogorie Belgorod – Dinamo Moscow 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-16)
Belogorie: Makarov 1, Khtey 9, Muserskiy 11, Grozer 20, Tetyukhin 7, Duff 4, Ermakov (L) and Kosarev 0
Dinamo: Grankin 1, Veres 6, Shcherbinin 4, Kruglov 6, Kurek 4, Krivets 3, Stepanyan (L) and Bragin (L), Poltavskiy 1, Afinoguenov 1, Bezrukov 0, Boldyrev 4, Markin 4
Belogorie Belgorod coasted to easy win over Dinamo Moscow and grabbed a priceless advantage before the Friday’s rematch. The very Belgorod’s victory should not astonish, however, the size of the win is highly embarrassing for the capital team and its fans. Nobody expected such a one-sided game. Dinamo was able to face its opponents only in the first set while two consecutive parties was a real manifestation of Belogorie’s power. Gorgy Grozer became a deadly scoring machine (20 points) reminding the player who shot PGE Skra Belchatow up in the final of Plus Liga last year. Moreover, he could rely on his good fit teammates with Dimitry Muserskiy ahead. The 220 cm tall middle-blocker contributed eleven points being almost not to bypass in block and extremely efficient to the serve. Among the guests, all players extremely disappointed starting from inaccurate Sergey Grankin, through ineffective Pavel Kruglov and ending with unproductive Bartosz Kurek. The Pole seemed to be the worst of all and he must improve his shape otherwise the Friday’s match may be the last in the jersey of Dinamo for him.
Ural Ufa – Lokomotiv Kharkhiv 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-17)
Ural: Falasca 3, Spiridonov 23, Ashchev 6, Vissotto 13, Abramov 7, Kazakov 2, Verbov (L) and Zhloba 0, Alekseev 0, Samoylenko 1, Panteleymonenko 0
Lokomotiv: Storozhilov 4, Iereshchenko 9, Rudnytskyi 3, Tomyn 11, Ivanov 4, Teryomenko 6, Fomin (L) and Kapaiev 4, Tatarintsev 1
Ural Ufa handled Lokomotiv Kharkhiv in three straight sets and will accede in the good mood to the next match on Friday. Lokomotive resisted thefavoredopponent in spite of playing without Sergey Tyutlin who is the best scorer of the team. Yuri Tomynattempted totake overTyutlin’s role but was not able to raise so high level. Tomyn scored 11 points, however, gained only 38% spiking efficiency. Ural Ufa was ruthless in counters and it was the major way to get the Lokomotiv’s scalp. Aleksey Spiridonov occurred to the best Red man and posted 23 points with sky-high efficiency (65%).
Iskra Odintsovo – Gazprom Yugra Surgut 1-3 (20-25, 25-21, 22-25, 22-25)
Iskra: Lesik 8, Contreras 14, Bogomolov 2, Schmitt 20, Kalinin 12, Koulechov 7, Komarov (L) and Martyniuk (L), Kozlov 2, Berezin 0, Danilov 0
Gazprom: Shulga 1, Aleksiev 21, Todorov 14, Baranov 5, Rodichev 20, Smolyar 8, Kabeshov (L) and Grachkov 0, Leontiev 0
Gazprom Yurga Surgut claimed a win over Iskra Odintsovo and got closer to the quarterfinals having a rematch at the own court. The crucial aspect of the performance were a very good shape of two top scoring out-side spikers of Gazprom Yurga Todor Aleksiev and Andrey Rodichev .Both the players posted 41 points and a middle-blocker, Todor Todorov, added 14 (100% in att. and 4 blocks). Iskra was not enough, 61% of Elvi Contreras (upon him the block that ended the game), Denis Kalinin ended with 34% attack and Gavin Schmitt suffered seven walls.
Dinamo Krasnodar – Kuzbass Kemerovo 1-3 (18-25, 13-25, 25-23, 17-25)
Dinamo: Marlon 1, Mochalov 13, Chaus 5, Nosenko 4, Eremin 6, Chervyakov 4, Yanutov (L) and Khilchenko 1, Khoroshev 0, Andrievskiy 0, Conte 0, Yakovlev 10
Kuzbass: Ushakov 3, Andrae 16, Shestak 2, Moroz 28, Tuia 11, Shcherbakov 9, Galatov (L) and Poroshin 2
Having overcame Dinamo Krasnodar, Kuzbass Kemerovo made the greatest surprise of the first playoff round. Dianmo Krasnodar was higher-ranked after the regular season but last games were not optimistic and might have suggested weaker disposition of the Krasnodar Country team. What is more, Facundo Conte was is not allowed to play on the full distance and the lack of him was clearly visible. All the circumstances had a motivating impact on Kemerovo. From the beginning, Kuzbass dominated all of volleyball elements achieving a significant advantage especially in blocking (11-1) and spiking at the end (58% – 42%). Pavel Moroz, collector of 28 points (60 % of efficiency in attack) and a foreign duo Samuel Tuia (11) and Bjorn Andrae (16) provided the priceless victory for Kuzbass. The leader of Dinamo Krasnodar, an opposite Vasily Notsenko, scored just noting a wan 25 percentage efficiency in spiking, as a result he was substituted by Roman Yakovlev who collected 10 points but it did not turn out to be enough.