Russia storm back to beat Germany in tiebreak
Bangkok, Thailand, August 16, 2013 – Russia secured their fifth FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix match in a row, winning a thrilling tiebreak match against Germany on Friday, 3-2 (22-25 17-25 25-18 25-19 15-11).
Despite their winning streak, which is the longest since their 10 win streak from 2009 to 2011, Russia’s chances for reaching the World Grand Prix Finals remain a far reach where they stand in ninth place with 14 points. World No. 8 Germany, however, who have won only one of 10 World Grand Prix matches against Russia, is in a tighter spot in 11th place and 12 points.
Russia’s Nataliya Goncharova stepped up to lead her team with 21 points throughout the match, while Germany’s Maren Brinker was her team’s top scorer with 15 points.
Defending and successive two-time world champions Russia(world No.6), whose height average is 186cm against the rivals’183cm, got off to a dismal start in the first set. Germany, led by hard-attacking Saskia Hippe and veteran Christiane Furst, played exceptionally well to win the closely-contested first set 25-22.
Germany continued their winning streak in the second set, as Russia became more prone with unforced attacking mistakes. Germany led from the start to finish to take the easy second set 25-17.
Russia’s Tatiana Kosheleva and Nataliya Goncharova allowed Russia to come back in the third set, overpowering the German’s defense with powerful attacks, giving Russia the 25-18 win.
Russia still showed their brave fight in the fourth set. Kosheleva and Goncharova overcame the smaller blockers with aggressive attacks to help their team win the set 25-19.
In the tiebreak set, Russia proved stead to capture the exciting battle 15-11 and the grueling 3-2 match.