Beijing, China, August 24, 2008 - Russia took the Men's Volleyball Bronze medal by beating Italy in straight sets (25-22, 25-19, 25-23) at the Capital Gymnasium on Sunday.
This is Russia's second consecutive Bronze Medal in the Olympic Games. In total, Russia have won three medals, including one Silver medal in Sydney 2000 and Bronze medals at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. They are still missing out the Gold medal to complete their collection.
Russia kicked off the set with rock-solid defence digging up all spikes from the Italian attackers. Instead of setting, Sergey GRANKIN's (RUS) spike into the court caught Italy's defence off-guard to lead 14-7. Alessandro FEI's (ITA) speedy middle court spikes managed to bring the score closer but Alexander KOSAREV's (RUS) left-court spike ended the first set in Russia's favor.
Maxim MIKHAYLOV (RUS) and Alexander VOLKOV (RUS) led Russia's attacking rhythm hitting on-target from all corners of the court. Italy struggled with their first-hand receptions and could not set up any decent combination play to match Russia's blocking intensity. Matteo MARTINO's (ITA) service error wrapped up the set 25-19, giving Russia a decisive lead.
The last set was tilted towards Russia as well as the team moved ahead of Italy at 8-6 in the first technical timeout, but Vigor BOVOLENTA (ITA) forced a tie to 9-9 with his impressive right-court spikes.
MIKHAYLOV and Alexander KOSAREV (RUS) led Russia's offence again driving deep down spikes to penetrate Italy's tall blocking. VOLKOV's quick spike finished off the set point and the match, to bag the Bronze. (ONS)