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Got under pressure

"Gazprom-Ugra" (Surgut): Ozhiganov - Shakhbanmirzaev, Kurbatov – Shevlyakov, Rodichev – Skvortsov, Nagets/Obmochaev

"Zenit-Kazan" (Kazan): Rukavishnikov – Mikhailov, Shcherbinin – Romanovsky, Volkov – Labinsky, Fedorov/Chanchikov

Alexey Verbov fielded a lineup with a balance of youth and experience in Surgut, and sent former “Surgut resident” Evgeniy Rukavishnikov to pass the ball. Rafael Khabibullin entrusted a place in the starting lineup to young Ivan Skvortsov, who immediately felt the weight of champion serves. Actually, presentation has become the main element, due to which Zenit won a landslide victory.

On Volkov's serves, Zenit immediately runs forward, 2:7. Rajab responds with an ace., 4:7, but this does not change the weather on the site. Skvortsov, from an excess of desire to prove himself, hits powerfully twice, but past the field, 6:10. Kurbatov scores, Rodichev converts a passing ball on Skvortsov's serve, 10:13. But Romanovsky lays the ace, and Shcherbinin gets another break, despite the hosts' efforts in defense, 10:16. Actually, at this point the outcome of the set becomes obvious, despite individual effective actions of Gazprom-Yugra, such as blocking Labinsky (13:17). After a failure in the transmission, Ozhiganov gives way to Kirillov, and Labinsky makes an ace, 14:21. Now it’s Kirillov’s turn to make a mistake with the pass – 14:22. The hosts do not implement freeball, Rajab kicks out, Romanovsky blocks his counterpart with a block, 15:25.

In the opening of the second set, Volkov was again good on serve: ace and two passed balls, production of Labinsky, 0:3. Krasikov appears instead of Skvortsov. Rajab answers with an ace again (3:4), but his efforts are not enough. Guests confidently eat, biting off the breaks: another serve from Volkov gives Romanovsky a chance to score on the passing ball (7:10), Volkov and Mikhailov finish it off, what didn’t work out during the rental with Shevlyakov and Krasikov (8:13). And again Rajab tries to pull the blanket - he scores and organizes a passing ball for Krasikov with a serve, 10:13. In addition to Rajab, Rodichev scores difficult goals on the net, but this is not enough for the chase: Volkov with a break again, 13:18, and Krasikov’s block completely deprives the ending of intrigue, 15:21. Everything ends on Labinsky's serve - an ace plus a knocked out move with a final attack from Rukavishnikov, 17:25.

In the third game, the Surgut team grabbed hold: The Nagaian proved himself in defense, Rajab put the hosts ahead for the first time, 2:1. Immediately Romanovsky’s pitches seem to put everything in its place: ace, passing ball, another knocked out move, 2:5 and instead of Krasikov, Korotaev appears on the court after a long break. Another long play with a freeball - and Nagaitsa is replaced by Obmochaev in the reception.

Once again Rajab's serve intervenes - ace, Labinsky’s unsuccessful move and his own attack into touch, still ace, 7:7 and Verbov's first timeout. Rajab forces him to accept Shcherbinin, Mikhailov hits touch, 8:7. The visitors regain the lead after 10:11, Korotaev did not deal with the net ball in a long rally. Rajab compares, but Mikhailov decides in formation with Radjab in the fourth zone (11:13), and a poor-quality pass does not give Rodichev a chance (12:15). Another mistake by Kirillov - this time he passed past Shevlyakov, 14:18. Then the vector of the game gradually moved from Gazprom-Yugra’s unrealized chances in protracted play-offs to protracted setbacks. Blok left hope for Mikhailov, 20:22, which crumbled with another Kurbatov serve into touch, the completion of the game named after Mikhailov and an unsuccessful attempt by Rajab to find the hands of the blockers, 20:25.

"Gazprom-Ugra" fought as best he could:

Head coach of VC Zenit-Kazan Alexey Verbov: Did a good job today, especially the first two games, the quality was very good. In the third, the focus of attention went away a little: may be, tired, may be, the first two games pressed and felt well, that everything works out. But as soon as this feeling comes, problems start immediately. There were five finishes, and when we can’t save these extra games – probably, does this indicate relaxation?, either about fatigue, or about something else. But the guys are still great, with nice mood, played with good attention and showed good quality today.

When we have two centers with good serving - Shcherbinin and Romanovsky - they immediately add this power. Volkov, Labinsky, Mikhailov – we understand and expect submissions from them, but when centers are added, this is one of the drawings of our game. We tried it in the last game, in this: we have to try, so that everyone is in good shape for the playoffs. Composition, Glory to God, allows the coach not to be afraid to use different combinations of players. Although there were concerns, in Surgut how many times have I not come, it's easy we never left here. The team clings all the time, fights. Today, probably, one of the easiest matches in my history, so you should be happy.

Finisher for VC Zenit-Kazan Dmitry Volkov: Today we played well in all elements and, the most important, did not allow weakness in their actions, with a small exception in the third batch. And so there was complete concentration, were confident in all elements. Disassembling Surgut is always a little harder, you 25 players can enter the court, watched everyone.

Senior coach of VC "Gazprom-Yugra" Denys Harkushenko: There was too much respect for Kazan today. You can't go out like that. clear, that there are good players playing there, but we had to start ourselves... It’s not the names that win, and people, we came out with the task of playing well. In volleyball, unfortunately or fortunately, there are no draws, we have to play to win. Watched the first two games, how Kazan plays, no effort was made. In the third game we felt some confidence and the score was already decent, in the end we lost. Kazan served well today, knocked us out of the reception. It's hard to play on high balls with such a block. Have you tried something?, changed, were looking for some options. Unfortunately, Did not work out. hope, that the guys will sleep with these thoughts and we will play the three remaining games with strong opponents differently, Let's try to win at least one.



Date Time Championship
02.03.2024 19:00 CR 2023-2024


Gazprom-Yugra (Surgut)1517200
Zenit-Kazan (Kazan)2525253


g. Surgut / SC "Premier Arena"

Gazprom-Yugra (Surgut)

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Zenit-Kazan (Kazan)

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