Modena, Italy, October 9, 2010 – Russia claimed a straight-set victory (25-19, 25-21, 25-19) over USA in the match for fifth place at the FIVB Men's World Championship on Saturday night.
The key to Russia's victory was the high wall they established at the net, as they out-blocked the Americans 12-6. Maxim Mikhaylov led the scoring for Daniele Bagnoli's team with 20 points including three blocks while Taras Khtey and Yury Berezhko registered 13 and 11 respectively. Sean Rooney was the only American in double digits with 13 points and Clayton Stanley added nine.
FIVB Men's World Championship 2010 official page
Russia began with the starting lineup of setter Sergey Grankin, opposite Mikhaylov, outside hitters Berezhko and Khtey, middle blockers Dmitriy Muserskiy and Alexander Volkov, and libero Valery Komarov. The United States' starting six were setter Jonathan Winder, opposite Stanley, outside hitters Reid Priddy and Rooney, middle blockers Russell Holmes and David Lee, and libero Richard Lambourne.
The PalaPanini in Modena was sold out and the match caught fire from the early exchanges with some powerful spikes from both sides. At the First Technical Timeout (FTT), Russia were 8-7 ahead only for Holmes' blocking on Volkov to even the score at 10-10. Russia, with some effective blocking, opened up a lead at 20-16 before a Berezhko shot closed up the set 25-19.
The Russian block was instrumental in Bagnoli's team going 4-1 in front in the second set. At the FTT, they led 8-4 with Muserskiy impressing in attack. Lee reduced the gap to 14-12 with a block and an attack for the Americans, whose coach Alan Knipe brought Priddy back in for Paul Lotman. Yet, despite maintaining a high level of Volleyball, USA were unable to overturn Russia's advantage and Mihhaylov, with a cannon shot, sealed the set at 25-21.
With some powerful, accurate serving, Russia kept USA's receivers under pressure in the third set as they established an 11-6 lead. Coach Knipe tried to alter his strategy, calling setter Kevin Hansen and young spiker Mattew Anderson into action. But Russia stayed on top, leading 14-9 and then 16-10. Muserskiy's blocking stopped Stanley at 19-13 and although the Americans kept battling, Russia's strength was too much and Khtey's sharp shot wrapped up the contest at 25-19.