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 Match info | Description
Russia upends USA to reach semis

Belgrade, Serbia, July 23, 2009 - Russia defeated Team USA 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23) to seal its spot in the semifinals of the 2009 FIVB World League, while simultaneously eliminating the defending champions from the medal round.
The win also gave idle Serbia a free pass to the semifinals of the elite international Men's tournament.
The Russians came out storming, taking a quick 5-1 lead before sustaining the advantage all the way to the second technical timeout (16-11).
But the Beijing Olympic champions improved their defense and blocking, reducing the gap to 17-15 before eventually tying the score at 20-20. But an excellent performance from Maxim Mikhaylov put an end to the comeback. Mikhaylov scored his sixth point of the set to give Russia a 2-point lead at 22-20, which they rode out for a 25-22 victory. Mikhaylov wound up scoring seven points in the frame, with Sergey Tetyukhin adding 5.
The teams were equal in the second set until 12-12 when the Russians took the initiative. Russia coach Daniele Bagnoli sent on Semen Poltavskiy in place of Mikhaylov, who, with a couple of extreme attacks and services, led his team to a 19-14 lead. That forced U.S. coach Alan Knipe to call for a timeout, which appeared to give the Americans a second wind. But as in the previous set, the Olympic Champions came close (19-18), but could not overtake the Russians. The experienced Tetyukhin stopped the comeback and Yuri Berezhko bagged the first set ball to win the second set 25-22.
Russia continued to lead in the third set as well, despite being under constant threat by the Americans. Following a counterattack from Tethyukhin, Russia made it a 4-point difference, before the U.S. succeeded in leveling the score (18-18) thanks to an excellent Sean Rooney. The Americans had a chance to turn the result to their advantage but David Lee made a mistake in the transition to make it 20-20. The game was played point by point after that until 24-23, when the Russians scored their first set and match ball (25-23) after a failed attack from Rooney.


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