Modena, Italy, September 26, 2010 – Russia scored a 3-1 (25-16, 25-12, 24-26, 25-20) victory over Australia to remain in contention for top spot in Pool C at the 2010 FIVB Men’s World Championship in Modena, Italy on Sunday.
Russia will now meet Puerto Rico to define the pool’s winner while Australia will be pitted against Cameroon in a match for survival, with the winner moving onto the second round.
The powerful serves and high blocks from Russia were the difference against the promising young Australian side. The winners had the advantage in aces (10-2) and blocks (8-3).
Maxim Mikhaylov had a superb night as he topped Russia with 27 points including five aces. Dmitriy Muserskiy and Yury Berehzko added 15 and 11 respectively. Igor Yudin was the only Aussie in double figures with 16 points.
PalaCasaModena Giuseppe Panini welcomed over 3,000 spectators for the match between 2010 FIVB World League runners-up Russia and Australia. Russia coach Daniele Bagnoli opted for a titular starting six, while his counterpart Borgeaud selected setter Alexander and Roberts as spiker.
The match started tightly as Carroll for Australia and Berezhko for Russia stood out in attack. The powerful Russian serve put caused issues for the Australian reception thus resulting in their strategy becoming easier to read by the Russian block. A winning attack performed by Khtey closed the set for Russia 25-17.
Russia had a jump-start in the second set and took a huge lead at 10-1 with impressive thundering serves while Australia found themselves unable to stop the flood. The second technical time-out arrived with Russia ahead by 16-4. The distance between the two teams became wider as the Europeans stormed to a 21-7 before a quick ball set for Muserskiy finished the set 25-12.
Australia took a 5-4 thanks to a spike from opposite Edgard early in the fourth and they reduced their mistakes to retain the lead. Bagnoli changed personnel, bringing on Sivozhelez for Khtey, but Australia kept the distance between the sides. With Russia becoming more and more frustrated, libero Verbov received a yellow card for protesting. White then saw out the set on a second set-point as Australia pull one back 26-24.
The positive outcome of the third set encouraged the Aussies who carried their momentum into the fourth. But Russia upped their game thanks to Mikhailov and Berezhko as they took the lead. The young Australians were determined to hang on but Russia utilised their brutal attack and took the match to remain unbeaten so far in the tournament.