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"Zenith" (St. Petersburg): Kovalev - Nikkel, Gossip - Voronkov, Yakutin - Kosmin, Grebennikov

"Gazprom-Ugra": Kirillov - Alekseev, Makarenko - Katich, Piun - Kurbatov, Nagaec/Kabeshov

In a match with the St. Petersburg "Zenith" Rafael Khabibullin tried as the main setter 19-year-old Maxim Kirillov. Well, if this is a story about "how the steel was tempered", then the crucible for the young player turned out to be noble. Cannot be said, that Maxim flashed: visibly nervous, passed dirty, push-ups on the pitch, but the same Igor Kobzar once went through something similar in Gazprom-Ugra.

The hosts, in addition to the injured Viktor Poletaev and Ivan Yakovlev, to the Academy. Platonov from the Christmas holidays from overseas did not have time to return Matthew Anderson. He was replaced, and very good, young diagonal "Motorist" (farm club "Zenita") Mikhail Nikkel. But Yegor Klyuka entered the court, which, even not in the best physical condition, is dangerous by reading the game and striking accuracy of actions.

Surgut started the match, chronically not feeding. Add to this failures in reception - and now 5:10 served by Fedor Voronkov. In the middle of the set, the guests began to cling to long draws, but extract little dividends from them, the last word often remained with the "Zenith". The scheme is simple: if you don’t finish your replays – the opponent takes his own – the score goes up in his favor. Some revival came only on set-balls, when Kirill Piun first scored, and then he got ace with an insidious dive of the ball from the cable into the field, 19:24. Another good pitch and Kurbatov finishes off the passing ball, 20:24. In the next draw, we had a chance to get a better grip, but Alekseev's attack is closed with a block.

In the second set, Nikita Kurbatov was replaced by Kirill Ionov - and immediately scored, 1:0. Kluka couldn't come up with anything on the high ball, 2:0. Here Egor corrects himself, Nikkel, with a short serve, gets the second ace in the game and scores himself after another fiasco of Gazprom-Ugra at the reception, 2:3. The next breakthrough of "Zenith" on the innings of Yegor Yakutin, 4:8. Another one on Kovalev's gliders, 11:5. No fine-tuning - poor quality pass - ineffective attack. Approximately according to this scheme, we played the second set, and even then, that they tried to earn a block, "cleaned" below Zhenya Grebennikov. The ending came out similar to the previous one.: in a curious episode Kovalev, falling, gave the ball to the other side of Milan Katic, then Zenit had problems receiving Ionov's glider and Yakutin had to pass with an error, 17:24. Another glider from Ionov to Voronkov, as a result of which the Surgutians got the ball without a fight, but Katic from a comfortable position hits out...

In the third installment, instead of Alekseev, Rajab Shakhbanmirzaev appeared on the court, and then Kovaleva is replaced by Kobzar. Meanwhile, the account began to grow in favor of Gazprom-Ugra: Ionov covers Kosmin with a block (2:0), Rajab draws up an ace (5:2), Kirillov blocks Voronkov (7:3). The hosts, apparently, counted, that's all about to get better, but Voronkov's pipe is mitigated by a block and Makarenko realizes a replay (4:10). Andrey Tolochko is forced to take a timeout and call on Kobzar to “drop these things” and give the exchange to the edge, what he does - Nickel is accurate. But Kirillov perfectly imitates an attack on a net ball, outputting without Rajab block, and Makarenko aggressively serves right through, 13:6 and the second timeout "Zenith".

The task of keeping the distance begins to fail due to Katic's mistakes - the legionnaire hits out and does not serve, 16:13. With the score 17:14 Igor Kobzar comes out to serve and makes the Surgut team serially make mistakes in the reception, which ultimately breaks the entire game system: boxwood attack, insurance not working, Rajab stepping over the three-meter line... Once again, Shakhbanmirzaev disperses in the air with the ball, and the account is already 17:19. Ours rest through the block and Rajab's effective attacks this time, promising a tense ending (20:20), but ... Makarenko takes risks and does not submit, and at Zenit, a young player and full-time pitcher Timofey Tikhonov comes out to serve from the square. Two aces at the junction of Katic and Nagayets, and then Ionov hits the passing ball into touch, 20:24, game done. Tikhonov does not serve, but Yakutin scores against the former club, 21:25.

New Year's trip to St. Petersburg turned out to be inefficient for Gazprom-Ugra in terms of numbers (and for whom these trips are effective this season?), but quite informative, it seems to me, on the inside. The first full-fledged match of Kirillov in the Super League created a new reality, in which we did not so much try to beat Zenit, how much did you overcome yourself. In an attempt to overcome this, perhaps, is the key to future success. So before the New Year, people promise themselves to do something grandiose with 1 January. We will have such a chance 8 January in a home match against Belogorye.



Date Time Championship
29.12.2022 20:00 CR 2022-2023


Zenith (St. Petersburg)2525253
Gazprom-Yugra (Surgut)2017210