PUNE, India (Aug. 5, 2009) – Russia cruised past Belgium 25-21, 25-13, 25-17 on Wednesday during the second day of Pool E competition of the 2009 FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship being played at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, India.
Russia and Belgium are now both 1-1 in Pool E and still in contention for a spot in the semifinal round that starts on Aug. 8. Only the top two teams from Pool E and Pool F advance to the semifinals, while the third- and fourth-place teams fall into the 5-8 classification matches.
Levan Kalandadze paced Russia with a match-high 25 points, while Sergey Burtsev added 10 points. Alexander Markin and Dmitry Shcherbinin each totaled eight points in the victory.
Kevin Klinkenberg led Belgium with 11 points, while Ruben Van Hirtum and Leonard De Schrijver added six points.
Russia held a commanding advantage in both blocks (12-5) and aces (5-1). Russia converted on 41 of its 65 attacks in the match, while Belgium was held to just 28 spikes on 70 attempts.
Belgium concludes Pool F on Thursday against India at 18:00, while Russia challenges Argentina at 14:00.
Belgium initiated a 4-1 start to the first set, but Russia battled back to within one at 5-4. Russia inched its way to a 15-10 lead. Belarus scored consecutive points to reach within 15-12. A late Belgium charge put it within one at 20-19. However, Russia ended the set by scoring five of the final seven points for a 25-21 victory. Kalandadze paced Russia’s potent offense with nine points, while Belgium was led by Klinkenberg’s seven points.
Russia picked up a two-point edge at 5-3 in the second set. Kalandadze served an ace to the back line and Belgium attacked wide to improve Russia’s lead to 8-4 at the first technical timeout. Kalandadze served another ace out of the break to extend the lead to 9-4. Shcherbinin put up a block and Kalandadze served a third ace in the scoring run to to yield an 11-4 advantage. A Belgium attack error spread the difference to eight points at 13-5. An Alexander Markin block pushed Russia to a 15-7 lead. Belgium increased Russia’s lead to 18-9 with an attack error, and Kalandadze added a spike on the next play. Russia cruised the rest of the way for a 25-13 victory. Kalandadze charted eight points in the set for Russia, which picked up five blocks in the stanza.
The lead in the third set changed three times at the first technical timeout of the third set with Belgium holding an 8-7 advantage. Volvich put up a block at 10-8 giving Russia the first two-point edge of the third set. Shcherbinin and Kalandadze combined for a block extending Russia’s advantage to 14-11. Markin collected an overpass kill and Sergey Burtsev aced Belgium at 18-13 out of the second technical timeout. Shcherbinin and Markin added another block and Belgium hit wide to extend the run to five unanswered points and put the score at 20-13. Russia controlled the rest of the set to win it 25-17.