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15/09/2011 17:37
Russia joins the top four in Vienna
2011 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men

Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, September 14, 2011. The very last match of the EuroVolley 2011 in Karlovy Vary was the remake from the classification game 3/4 played two years ago in Izmir but this time Russia was able to cruise past Bulgaria to make it to the semifinals.

Although they were playing in black jerseys, Matey Kaziyski & Co. were everything but sad to cross their ways with pre-favorite Russia in the quarterfinals. With a splendid performance in reception, they opened the game with a good tempo and they went up by five before the money time (16:21).

With the help of Alexander Volkov and Dmitriy Muserskiy Russia attempted a late comeback but Bulgaria stayed focused to seal the deal at 25-22.

Russia was the undisputed leader of the court throughout set 2; the deciding break came after the second mandatory stop (20:16) and with Zhekov and his teammates failing to control the powerful spikes of Mikhaylov and Biryukov, Russia wrapped it up at 25-19.

Russia’s hitters did not slow down their terrific pace also in set 3; after going up 18:10, the guys mentored by Vladimir Alekno had to control the Bulgarian offensive weapons that found more and more regularly a way through the block but still this was not enough to turn the odds around.

Bulgaria stormed out for the provisional 0:6 in set 4 but Russia responded with another 6:0 break to quickly level the count. Russia’s show of strength continued all the way through with the local audience in Karlovy Vary being delighted by the cannon balls sent out by Kaziyski and the Russian great defense. Russia stayed cool and finished it off 3:1 to qualify for the semis coming up this Saturday in Vienna.  

Russian captain Taras Khtey said: “I am glad we won. It was a pleasant game though Bulgaria was a tough opponent. Now we will eat well, relax and get ready for Vienna”.

Russian coach Vladimir Alekno added: “In the quarterfinals you have no right to make a mistake. There are no easy matches. Today we achieved two victories – one for our character and another with the final result. It was hard work today but every player understood what kind of Volleyball he was supposed to play. High balls were one of the key points as we improved this fundamental”.  

Vladimir Nikolov, captain of Bulgaria: “The Russians were better today. Their play was devastating. Our game was not efficient enough and therefore they beat us”.

Radostin Stoytchev, coach of Bulgaria, concluded: “First of all, I would like to congratulate the Russian team and their coach on the victory. They deserved it. The major differences were the following: they played 33 high balls with 73% of efficiency, a ratio I have never seen before. Secondly, they had 42 counterattacks with a 52% of positive result. With these figures on their side it was impossible for us to win. I can only repeat they deserved it and the better team is moving to the next stage of the competition”.

News nr. 8 of 36
15/09/2011 17:58:22
Italy claims spot for semifinals after edging tired Finns
15/09/2011 14:09:41
Poland bound for Vienna

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