WCH Pool C: Russia in second round!

Russia ends match with Mexico not without obstacles. Reason for an excuse can be play with substitutes. 3 points also for Canada and Bulgaria.



China: S.Jiao (2), W.J.Zhong (12), C.L.Liang (1), Y.Zhi (8), J.J.Cui (5), X.Geng (13), Q.Ren (L) and R.M.Li, J.T.Xu (1), Z.C.Kou (4), F.W.Kong (L), D.S.Ji
Bulgaria: Zhekov (4), Aleksiev (1), Yosifov (6), Sokolov (6), Penchev (6), Gotsev (7), Salparov (L) and Skrimov (12), Gradinarov (1), Milushev (10)


China entered to the game with confidence because of the two previous wins. China took the leadership in the beginning of the first set (7:5), but then setter Andrey Zhekov made it difficult to China’s reception after a good serve. Nevertheless, by the time of the second technical time out China was leading (16:14) and even managed to make a 5-points- difference (19:14). Todor Skrimov from Bulgaria appeared on the court as a substitute by captain Todor Aleksiev. This helped the Bulgarians to make it to 25:23. Miroslav Gradinarov who substituted also Nikolay Penchev made an excellent job on block, while Viktor Yosifov demonstrated stable play on serve, so the Lions made 5 points in a row and closed the set 25:23 in their favor.

Todor Skrimov continued to be on the court in the second set, while Aleksiev was on the bench. China took the leadership again and showed some great motivation (7:2). Tsvetan Sokolov was substituted by Danail Milushev, but the Asian team saved the leadership. Konstantinov took a time out and seemed a bit disappointed by what his players show. Once again Viktor Yosifov’s serve brought luck to Bulgaria, so the Lions turned the result for 14:13 after 5 consecutive points. In this minutes of the match Svetoslav Gotsev was excellent on block, while stopping the opponents’ attacks. The play continued to go point for point, but the last one in the set was for Bulgaria after a mistake in out by China’s attack.

In the third set things seemed to be a bit easir to Bulgaria’s team. China was leading only by 10:8, but the Lions equalized for 10:10, and then led by 16:13. The guys of Konstantinov saved their leadership till the end of the set and closed by 25:19.


Canada: Sanders (1), Perrin (10), Simac (2), Schmitt (17), Hoag (10), Duff (6), Lewis (L) and Soonias (2), Schnieder, Van Lankvelt (1), Vigrass (2), Winters (3)
Egypt: Abdalla (2), Elkotb (4), Mamdouh (6), Abdelhay (7), Badawy (3), Abd Elhalim (4), Moawad (L) and Saleh (6), El Sayed

John Gordon Perrin and Gavin Schmitt blasted astonishing serves which kept Egypt struggling on defence. As the Canadians expanded the gap further to 20-12, Egypt lost their concentration on the game. Schmitt and Nicholas Hoag took over to help finish off the set and a defensive error from Egypt secured Canada with the 25-14 win in the first set. 
Egypt tried to fight aggressively during the start of the second set but committed errors afterwards to give the Canadians the upper hand 8-5. Egypt tried to score from the middle led by Mohamed Elhalim but his team-mates continued committing errors that gave the Canadians a bigger advantage 16-10. Egypt lost their momentum, while the Canadian counter-attack sealed the deal in the second set. A service error by Egypt clinched the set in favour of Canada 25-19. 

Both teams played relentlessly to bring the score into deadlocks at 9-all and 12-all. Egypt broke loose as captain Saleh Youssef led their attack, then an effective serve by Hossam Abdalla gave the lead to Egypt at 16-15. The score was tied at 21-all but a service ace in the 3-1 run by Canada ended the set and match 25-22.


Russia: Makarov (1), Biryukov (13), Ashchev (8), Moroz (15), Savin (18), Volvich (10), Golubev (L) and Muserskiy (3), Grankin
Mexico: P.Rangel (2), Guerra (12), Cordova (6), Vargas (20), Quinones (4), Aguilera (7), J. Rangel (L) and Meyer (1), Barajas, Orellana, Petris, Herrera

Russia coach Andrey Voronkov used his reserve players in the game to rest his usual starters but the move backfired as Mexico led the Russians. Daniel Vargas took charge of the Mexican offence scoring on counter-attacks against the European side. Russia retaliated but Mexico had good control of the set and protected their lead at 17-15. Then it was Tomas Aguilera’s turn to run the Mexican offence to extend their lead 21-17. Mexico capitalised on the combination plays that stunned the Russians that secured the first set for them 25-21. 
Mexico still had some fire and matched well against the Russians. Voronkov sent in his usual starters without Dimitriy Muserskiy in this match but got a good performance from Sergey Savin and Denis Biriukov. Mexico did not settle to be outplayed by Russia and tied the score at 10-all. Andrey Aschev tightened the Russians’ defence at the net and deflected attacks by Aguilera and Jorge Quinones to widen the gap at 18-14. Mexico tried to narrow the gap but Russia still seized the set 25-20 from a Vargas service blunder. 
The good spirit of the Mexican side failed to change the tempo of the game as Russia earned points in every department for a 10-2 score on the board. Biriukov’s serve became troublesome for the Mexican defenders, then a near-perfect defence system got them into a good position to control the score 17-8. Artem Volvich joined in the scoring to put them further ahead 22-11 until Savin closed the set 25-14 for the Russian side. 

Vargas tried to put back the energy from their first set performance for Mexico, with powerful spikes but Russia still led 13-9. Mexico ran out of steam and started committing errors and showed lackluster defence. Russia raised the lead 21-16 after a fine kill on a counter-attack by Pavel Moroz. Muserskiy, who was used as backup opposite today completed a block for the match victory 25-17.



RankTeamWin/LossSets RatioPoints RatioPoints1.Russia3/09.0001.30192.Bulgaria2/12.6661.12173.China2/11.2001.04364.Canada2/11.2001.04355.Mexico0/30.2220.80406.Ehypt0/30.1110.7920


Author of summary China – Bulgaria – Victoria Georgieva

Photo and infographics: FIVB