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Russia cruise past Peru in three

Russia's Nataliya Goncharova receives as coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin looks on
Tokyo, Japan, November 6, 2010 – Defending champions Russia maintained their unbeaten record by overcoming a game Peru side in three sets (25-15, 25-15, 25-20) in their first second-round match at the Yoyogi Gymnasium in Tokyo on Saturday.

The six-time champions had far too much height, power and speed for Peru, who nevertheless battled gamely. It was Russia’s sixth win of the campaign and their sixth in as many matches against their South American opponents, with their top scorer in the tournament Tatiana Kosheleva again to the fore with a match-high 20 points.

Russia, top of their first-round pool and ranked seventh in the world, were expected to beat Peru, who finished fourth in their first-round group with two wins and three defeats and are ranked 17th in the world. In doing so Russia stay on course for a top-four finish, while Peru have a second-round record of 0:4 (first round results against teams in the same second-round pool are taken into consideration).

FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page

Russia used their huge height advantage to take an early lead over Peru, with Kosheleva slamming down three good spikes. Peru coach Cheol Yong Kim called a timeout at 6-3 down, but Russia continued to have the edge. Maria Borodakova came up with a marvellous improvised backhand and a great block on Yulissa Zamudio, while Liubov Shashkova contributed a block of her own and some big hits as Russia moved 16-9 ahead at the second technical timeout. After another huge hit by Kosheleva, the same player added two service points, and a healthy spike by Nataliya Goncharova brought up set-point, which was converted when Angelica Aquino failed to deal with a Goncharova serve.

Peru looked lively early on in the second set with Karla Ortiz scoring on a tip-over and a spike, and Jessenia Uceda slamming a brilliant crosscourt smash through the Russian defence. Cheol called a timeout when his team fell 6-3 behind, but Russia were four points clear at the first TTO. Peru had a strong spell in the second phase of the set, with Leyla Chihuan making a couple of good blocks and scoring with two decent spikes. Ortiz added two of her own and suddenly Peru were only two points behind at 11-9. But Peru were struggling to spike through the likes of 2.02m Ekaterina Gamova and 1.90m Borodakova, and the gap between the two teams soon widened again. A shot by Kosheleva put Russia five points clear at the second TTO and they were quickly 10 points clear at 23-13. Borodakova earned set-point with a good hit and Russia went 2-0 up on a spike by Shashkova.

Peru took it to the Russians at the beginning of the third set, Patricia Soto starting things off well with a thumping spike and Uceda doing likewise a few points later. Uceda also sent down a service ace that levelled the scores at 7-7. The Peruvians were still level at 10-10, but then Kosheleva came up with a spike and two big blocks as Russia moved into a five-point lead at the second TTO. The Russians kept the pressure on and there was little Peru could do to stop them widening their lead, although they didn't stop trying. A huge spike by Kosheleva brought up match-point at 24-16, but Peru dug in and earned themselves a bit of respect by saving four of those, with Uceda, who top- scored for Peru with 10 points,  contributing a spike and a block on Kosheleva. But then Kosheleva came up with a big hit of her own and that ended the match.

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