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Millimeters from victory

"Torch" (New Urengoy): Enns-Vyshnikov, Babkevich-Dineykin, Kovalchuk-Melnikov, Danani

"Gazprom-Ugra" (Surgut): Shakhbanmirzaev-Ozhiganov, Katich-Korotaev, Krsmanovych-Tarasenko, Obmochaev

Sergei Grankin, who was injured, was absent from Fakel’s lineup, and this factor affected the quality of the hosts’ passes in the opening match. But this does not negate the spirit and quality of the guests’ play - the Surgut team immediately got down to business. Ace Ozhiganova - 4:1. Korotaev knocks Danani out of the reception and Katic scores the passing ball, 7:2. An early emergency timeout follows, after which Dineykin knocks on the block and hits out on the second attempt, 8:2.

All attempts by the hosts to thwart the offensive impulse of the guests lead to nothing.: Tarasenko scores aces (15:7) and Korotaev (18:9). Katic blocks Enns in the second zone, 20:10. Feeds to Babkevich are working, whom Yutsevich is forced to replace on the back line, Vyshnikov cannot provide comfortable conditions for his attackers. At the end, when the outcome of the set is almost clear, “Fakel” pulls up the score thanks to a series of powerful serves from Babkevich, but on the next set point Vladislav serves out.

The second set is a continuation of the first. Tarasenko scores another ace on Babkevich, 3:0. With a return ace, Dineykin reduces the gap to a minimum., 4:3, but gradually Gazprom-Ugra is moving forward. Ozhiganov pleases the wingers with quick passes, and Dineykin is blocked twice by a block, 12:8. Ozhiganov shortens his serve and Babkevich does not have time to form, 14:9, then Radjab covers Vladislav one-on-one in the fourth zone, 16:10. Rajab serves powerfully - Ozhiganov effectively folds on a freeball, 19:12. Yes, our binder-diagonal pair is in perfect order, the rest don't drop out of the game either.

“Fakel” again changes Babkevich to Yutsevich, Morozov comes on instead of Enns, but the set goes to Surgut again, Tarasenko puts the point.

Unfortunately, in the third set there was a classic reversal. Our players are hooked, and the owners found reserves: instead of Babkevich, Melnikov and Enns' starting places were taken by Yutsevich, Dikarev and Morozov. On Vyshnikov's serves, Gazprom-Yugra lost four cuts, and the score increased from 7:9 to 7:13.Rafael Khabibullin changes two-thirds of the lineup, but Rudnev, Krasikov, Urmantsev and Kirillov failed to cope with the task of at least catching the opponent, 15:25.

In the fourth game, the game and psychological advantage is already on the side of “Fakel”, which was facilitated by three blocks for the Surgut team already in the opening (1:5). For a long time, we scored points only due to the hosts’ mistakes on serve., which were invested in full - when counting 7:14 Fakel had six missed goals. The flip side of risk on serve is a knocked out hold., on which we could not organize something intelligible on the grid. And “Fakel” continued to bomb with aces: Morozov (11:21), Dinekin (12:23)... Four points, earned on the flag, gave little hope for a tiebreaker.

Nevertheless, our guys managed to get together and rebuild the game. The change of sides occurred with a minimal advantage of the hosts, and then the teams walked level until the Fakel match point 13:14. The hosts have an excellent chance to finish the match - but Yutsevich finds Ozhiganov’s hands in the final game, almost on a clean net., the rebound lands on the line on the home side. In the next long validating draw, our team endured Vyshnikov’s mistake and took the match point for themselves, 15:14. Rudnev does not serve, Rajab confidently acts, Ozhiganov fires his serve millimeters from the baseline... We were just millimeters away from victory, but then Rajab twice failed to beat the block in the uncomfortable fourth zone, 16:18.

Offensive defeat, which should strengthen the character of the team. Last season we lost a lot of tiebreakers, we must prevent this story from repeating itself in the current. But the fact itself, that we reached the fifth set in Novy Urengoy, inspires some optimism: still, even without Grankin, “Torch” is a powerful force.



Date Time Championship
21.10.2023 18:00 CR 2023-2024


Fakel (New Urengoy)20192525183
Gazprom-Yugra (Surgut)25251516162


g. New Urengoy / DS «Star"

Fakel (New Urengoy)

1 2 3 4 5 S K E FACING B PTS

Gazprom-Yugra (Surgut)

1 2 3 4 5 S K E FACING B PTS

Photo material for the cover was taken from the official VK website “Fakel” – source