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Kotikova looks forward to beginning of VNL

Kotikova was a key player for Russia at the 2017 Women's U20 World Championship
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 10, 2018 - Voted best opposite at the FIVB Volleyball Women's U20 World Championship in Mexico in 2017, where Russia were silver medallists, and a European gold medallist at U19 level, Anna Kotikova has joined the senior Russian women's team for this year's inaugural edition of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

Kotikova joins the senior team after a successful season with club team Dynamo Moscow and looks forward to the challenges of the new competition.

Kotikova (right) with the best opposite award at the 2017 Women's U20 World Championship

"There are a lot of young players in the team. Probably, the focus is on gradually rejuvenating the team. But still there are a lot of experienced girls in the team, so for young volleyball players to work with such players will be a very valuable experience. After all, these are very high-level players. They help us actively, help in everything. This is a great chance for the young players to show themselves," she said in an interview with championat.com.

"I know that I will have a lot of good friends in the team. But still I meet other girls, of course... We have a very friendly team, and we all work together. Every time you come to a new team, you have new acquaintances, new friends. In sport, this is generally how it works," she added, speaking of the team coach Vadim Pankov has assembled for the competition.

Quick links: FIVB Volleyball Nations League
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Kotikova has fond memories of watching the Russian team on television with her family. This time she will be at the heart of the action when Volleyball Nations League women's Pool 1 begins in Ekaterinburg in Russia next week with the home team taking on Argentina on Tuesday, May 15, Thailand on Wednesday, May 16 and the Netherlands on Thursday, May 17.

In week 2, Russia travel to Suwon where they will play hosts Korea, Italy and Germany before coming up against Serbia, Turkey and Belgium in Kraljevo, Serbia in week three. The fourth week of play will see Pankov's players travel to Jiangmen to play Olympic champions China, USA and Brazil in what will be one of the many highlights of the tournament. In week five, they will be in Walbrzych, Poland to play their neighbours, the Dominican Republic and Japan.

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