F I V B  FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE VOLLEYBALL
PRESS RELEASE 09.07.2003

Back

FIVB $15 million World League Finals Brazil artistry foils Russian fire power

Madrid, July 9, 2003 – Two well-oiled volleyball machines and arch rivals hit the court at the FIVB $15 Million World League on Wednesday when title- defenders Russia faced world champions Brazil in a match of muscle versus magic, and strength versus subtlety that ended, surprisingly decisively 3-1 for Brazil. “It is always difficult to play against Russia,” Brazilian captain Nalbert said after the match, while coach Bernardo Rezende said his lineup had had a good strategy and they served and blocked well against their great rival. The contrasts are many, the similarities rest in the two side’s ability to produce exquisite, exciting volleyball and the stage was set for a battle royal as the Brazilians embraced and the Russians slapped each other on the back before the first whistle. Smaller in stature and driven by their passionate coach, Brazil found themselves four points up in the opener at 22-18 when, to the jubilation of the Brazilians, a missile delivered by 208 cm-tall Russian Sergey Baranov landed past the line. Then a deflected block that fell badly for Russia gave the greens the first set point, first defended but then won when the 21-year- old Baranov miscalculated and drove a meter behind the backline to give Brazil first blood at 25-19. For Russia the artistry of setter Vadum Khamouttdkikh was a delight to see and Russia seized the lead at 7-6 in the second set, which they lengthened to 13-9. The Brazilians were back at 23-all only to have Pavel Abramov pierce through the Brazilian defense to give the Russians set point. A serve by Semen Poltavsky ripped into the Brazilian court and the set scores were again even. But in this contest where lightning quick reactions and a sensitive touch can serve as well as a missile fired from the backline, it was far from over. Brazil had a four point edge in the third set that they extended to an impressive seven. An immense block by Brazilian captain Nalbert gave them set point and Santana Rodrigo drove home the winning spike. The Russians, uncharacteristically, let the match slip from their grasp in the fourth set when Brazil steamed to a 10-point lead in a sequence where little went wrong for them and then they danced off the court as heroes after taking the final set with an impressive 25-15. Khamouttdkikh was critical of his Russian team saying they had played a “disastrous match” and would now concentrate on analyzing their mistakes ahead of their match against Italy on Thursday. Earlier the Czech Republic spoiled Greece’s chances of a berth in the final four with their 3-1 victory and Italy steamed past Bulgaria 3-1 to stay in the tournament. Serbia and Montenegro meet Spain in the final second day clash. Follow all the World League action on www.fivb.org


Back