Fakel is the big winner of 10th Superleague round moving from the fourth place to the second. The leader Zenit increased the lead to 4 points from Fakel.
Iskra moved down from the second to the third place, and Belgorod after the loss moved down two steps to settle on the fifth place. The pack of 12 teams split into two groups. The first group has four teams that are in the chase for the leading Kazan team. The peloton consisted of the rest seven teams is 8 points behind the first group. Dynamo Moscow, on of the leaders of Russian volleyball surprisingly joined the second group.
Tyumen (Tyumen) – Gazprom-Yugra (Surgut) 1:3 (17:25, 26:24, 32:34, 22:25)
The battle of the two teams at the bottom of the Superleague ended with Yugra getting three important points. As result of the game two teams swapped places. Surgut team also tied with Yantar with 9 points each. The host team committed too many errors serving (13) and receiving (11). That’s 13 more than their opponents. Krasikov, the latest addition to the guest team, just arrived from Belgorod and played great in his first game for Ugra. He was the best on the guest team with 23 points. Maximov added 17, Shlepov 16 and Proskurnya 10 points. Kiktev was the best for the Tyumen with 19 points. Among the rest Dubrovin finished with 16, Titarenko with 15 and Boyarchuk with 13 points.
Fakel (Novy Urengoi) – Lokomotiv-Belogorie (Belgorod) 3:0 (25:23, 25:21, 25:19)
Fakel won one of the central matchup of the round without much resistance from Belgorod. Only the first set was played evenly, after that the host dominated almost in all aspects of the game. Lokomotiv committed 16 service errors and that practically decided the outcome of the game. Sean Rooney attacked with 78% effectiveness and earned 14 points, Rossamakhine had 73% with 12 points. Beketov contributed 14 points and Kosarev 10. Musersky and Khtei scored 12 points for the visitors and Ilinykh added 10 points.
The Belgorod’s youth started the season brilliantly, but after the break slowed down a lot losing three games out of four. It is interesting to know what coach Shipulin is brewing in Belgorod?
Dynamo-Yantar (Kaliningrad) – Ural (Ufa) 1:3 (25:20, 24:26, 21:25, 27:29)
Ufa won the closely fought battle in Kaliningrad thanks to Veresh (22, 64%) and Kuznetsov’s (11, 70%) efforts. Starovich scored 16 points with 48% and Melnik added 10 points. Zhilin scored most for Yantar – 20, with Tkachenko – 17, Chaus and Khoroshev each adding 13 points.
Lokomotiv-Izumrud (Ekaterinburg) – Yaroslavich (Yaroslavl) 3:2 (25:22, 19:25, 23:25, 25:21, 15:12)
Mikhailov’s 37 point repeats this season’s best recorded by him in the 8th round. But if in that game Yaroslavich got all three points from Yantar, this time Mikhailov’s heroics brought his team only a point. It is worthy to mention that Mikhailov toped 30 points mark in 50% of games (5 out of 10). In whole last season he managed to score more that 30 points only three times in 28 games. Khamutskikh, Yaroslavich’s new setter, definitely deserves a lot of complements for this.
Lokomotiv: Aleksiev – 22, Tarasov – 19, Tsvetanov – 16, Krasnoperov – 15.
Yaroslavich: Mikhailov – 37, Titich – 13, Ivanov – 11.
Zenit (Kazan) – Iskra (Odintsovo) 3:0 (25:21, 25:18, 25:23)
In one of the central games of the round Zenit rolled over their main opponent for the Superleague lead. Kazan clicked like well oiled machine and did not give Odintsovo many chances dispatching them in 3 sets and 76 minutes. Ball was again the leader of his team delivering volleyball at the right place to the right person. On the visitor’s roaster only Schops and Spiridonov was up to their level scoring 18 and 8 points respectively. Pantelemoinenko and Tetyukhin scored 11 points for Kazan. The win improved Zenit’s lead to four points which is pretty impressive. Kazan has very good players, but there are several Superleague teams with the roster that could match them. It is time to give credit to Alekno’s leadership.
Dynamo (Moscow) – Lokomotiv (Novosibirsk) 0:3 (23:25, 19:25, 20:25)
Moscow team had chance to get closer to the leaders of the Superleague, but they did not demonstrated much enthusiasm and practically gave up the home game without much fight. After wining two games in the roll there was a hope that Moscow’s team new coach Cherednik could breathe some new life into Dynamo stars. It is obvious now that Dynamo needs to work much more to turn round their fortune. With Poltavsky and Dante back to action, Yakovlev was pushed out from starting lineup. Lokomotiv assembled a group of great players this season and proved to be a team with far reaching ambitions. Little by little their leaders are getting into the shape. Pavlov and Priddy are improving visibly and Lee and Leonenko maintained their level. It is hard to attribute the easy win over Dynamo to improving condition of the visitors team or the mediocre performance by the host team.
Dynamo: Poltavsky – 11, Dante – 10, Berezhko, Volkov – 7.
Lokomotiv: Pavlov – 17, Priddy – 14, Lee – 9, Leonenko – 8, Kazakov – 6.
Numbers…. Well, a lot of numbers (stats and etc.)
Mikhailov – 37; Krasikova – 23; Veresh – 22; Aleksiev – 22; Zhilin – 20; Tarasov – 19.
Best Spikers (Points/Errors/Succ %):
Musersky – 11/1/82; Rooney – 18/1/78; Rossamakhin – 11/0/73; Tsvetanov – 17/1/71.
Titarenko, Ivanov – all 6; Kuznetsov, Apalikov, Lee – all 4.
Best Receivers (Total/Errors/Pos%):
Obmochaev – 35/0/80; Krasnoperov – 35/0/74; Gatin – 34/1/74.
Pavlov, Mikhailov, Krasikov, Krasnoperov – all 3.