Despite the regular season of Russian Superleague is starting next weekend, the official trailer of the best volleyball league in the world has already happened as the Super Cup struggle between Belogorie Belgorod (Champion & Cup of Russia) and Zenit Kazan (Cup finalist). This time, Belogorie also maintained the winning series defeating Zenit in thrilling tie-break in spite of losing already 0-2.
Belogorie Belgorod – Zenit Kazan 3:2 (21-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-13)
Belogorie: Travica 1, Tetyukhin 13, Bogomolov 8, Grozer 28, Ilinykh 2, Muserskiy 16, Stepanyan (L) and Bragin (L), Fomenko, Panteleymonenko 9, Bagrey, Kosarev
Zenit: Grbic 3, Anderson 19, Apalikov 3, Mikhaylov 28, Sivizhelez 14, Volkov 4, Verbov (L) and Yakovlev, Kobzar, Abrosimov 2
First set showed that home advantage means nothing when away team plays great. And, Zenit was great. It turned out that Nikola Grbic didn’t need much time to get along with his new teammates. With some amazing moves he left other players without block, and opponents could just watch how the ball smashes into their court. Zenit was constantly in lead, two to three points. On the other side Muserskiy tried to save Belogorie, but that was not enough. Sivozhelez’ serve ended everything (21:25).
The second set was much more excited. Zenit was the first to take some serious advantage. From 13:12 lead, they went to 17:12 and were on the right track to double set lead. But, then Grozer came to the service, and Belgorod was back in the game. With the German opposite on service home team reduced deficit to 21:20! Both team scored point after that, and then Belogorie had the biggest chance to equalize – a counterattack! But, Zenit block stood in the middle. That point resolved the set. Kazan squad got their confidence back and won next two points and with then the second set (21:25).
But that was not end of Belogorie. Champion of Russia showed in third set that surrender is not an option. Home team got an early lead (9:4), Zenit very quickly equalized on 10:10, but Belgorie made 5:0 series for another huge point difference. Then came the drama. Belgorod squad couldn’t withstand the pressure and away team equalized again on 22:22! But, Muserskiy came to the rescue. First middle blocker returned the lead to his club, and then with a fantastic serve created two set balls. Belgorod used the second one (25:23).
How can we describe the fourth one? Well the teams were closer than ever 17:17, 18:18, 19:19… But again Muserskiy was the man of difference. With him on service Belogorie got to 23:19! Zenit was just able to reduce to 24:23, but Grozer spike took this Supercup into a tie-break (25:23)!
And what a tie-break that was. Like a reflection of the whole match. Zenit opened it way better – 4:1, then 8:4. But, Belogorie again returned to game – 9:9. You think that is the moment when the turnaround happened? You are wrong. Zenit made three straight points (12:9), but won just one after that. Unbelievable home team made series to remember, mostly with fantastic blocking, and trophy of Russian Supercup stayed in Belgorod (15:13).
Description: World of Volley