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2010 FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship

 Match info | Description
Russia overcome resilient Puerto Rico

Alexander Volkov of Russia scores against the defence of Puerto Rico
Modena, Italy, September 27, 2010 – Russia prevailed against a resilient Puerto Rico side, winning a five-setter (21-25, 25-14, 25-21, 23-25, 15-11) at the PalaPanini in Modena in Monday's Pool C clash at the 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship.

Russia finished the first round undefeated while Puerto Rico concluded with a 2-1 record as both teams advanced to the next stage. Semen Poltavskiy scored 22 points for the winning side while Maxim Mikhaylov and Anton Astashenkov registered 17 and 13 respectively.

Hector Soto led Puerto Rico's scoring with 21 points, the 41-year old Luis Rodriguez added 15 and Enrique Escalante and Victor Rivera registered 12 and 11 tallies.

Before the start of the match Puerto Rico faced an odd problem as libero Harry Rosario was wearing the number 19 shirt, even though in the official scoresheet he was supposed to be No2. With the coaches still looking for the right shirt, Rosario could not enter the court, so Puerto Rico began the match without their libero.

Dmitriy Muserskiy did not start for Russia, with middle blocker Astashenkov selected in the starting six. The Caribbean team began very well, although without Rosario, their receiving suffered against the powerful Russian serving. However, two consecutive aces from Escalante saw Puerto Rico clinch the first set 25-21.

In the second set Mikhaylov's serving put Russia into a commanding lead at 11-4. Rosario had finally found the correct shirt but remained on the bench. The gap between the two teams continued to increase to 19-12 and Russia's powerful game reaped its reward as they closed out the second set 25-14.

Rosario finally entered the fray in the third set, together with setter Angel Perez. Russia, for their part, put on Poltavskiy as opposite, Dmitry Shcherbinin as middle blocker and Evgeny Sivozhelez as spiker. The set was even up to 13-13 with both defences on top but Russia, inspired by Poltavskiy's attacks, then took charge and went on to claim the set 25-21.

Russia coach Daniele Bagnoli continued with the rotation of his players, inserting setter Sergey Makarov and spiker Denis Biryukov for Russia in the fourth set. At the First Technical Timeout (FTT), Russia led 8-7. A winning block by Rodriguez tied the score at 9-9 before Perez's ace put Puerto Rico ahead at 18-17. After two consecutive attacks by Rivera gave the Caribbeans a 22-20 advantage, Soto, with two second line attacks, duly forced the match into a tie-breaker.

Russia took a quick 7-3 lead in the fifth with Poltavskiy inspiring both the attack and block. His rival opposite, Soto, continued to catch the eye with his second line attack for Puerto Rico, however, and the teams changed court with Russia leading 8-5. Yet it was Russia's Astashenkov who had the last word as he led Russia to victory to conclude an electric match.

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