Khabarovsk, Russia, June 28, 2009 – Showing better composure and consistency than on Saturday, it took the Russians less then one hour and a half to sweep Bulgaria 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22) in the second match of the of 2009 FIVB World League weekend at Platinum Arena in Khabarovsk.
With the victory, Russia improved its World League record to 4-2. Bulgaria leaves Khabarovsk with a 2-4.
Russia will host the leader of Pool C Cuba the next weekend while Bulgaria will travel to Japan.
Tsvetan Sokolov led Bulgaria with 16 points. Sergey Tetyuhkin led Russia with 11.
Blocking was the key to the Russian’s victory as the hosts tallied 10 scoring blocks to Bulgarians’ five.
Both coaches made some changes in the starting lineups. Russia opened up with Evgeny Sivozhelez and Alexey Kazakov instead of Yury Berezhko and Alexey Kuleshov while Bulgaria started with Metodi Ananiev, one of the best players of saturday’s match.
Russia held on to a slender 8-6 lead at the first TTO and extended it significantly on Alexey Kazakov’s service – 13-7. Some serving and hitting errors of the Russians let Bulgaria pull to within one point at 20-19. Russian head coach Daniele Bagnoli had to call for a TO which helped a lot. The Russian men stopped Bulgarian run and finished off the set at 25-22.
The Russian team controlled the game totally from the beginning of the second set. With his team trailing 4-12 Bulgarian coach Silvano Prandi called his guys out for a time-out but he unlikely believed that he could change the situation at this point. The Bulgarians seemed to have already lost their spirit. The Russian hitters broke easily through the Bulgarian’s block which was an impenetrable wall for them the day before. Russia quickly wrapped up the set 25-18.
It was a real battle at the beginning of the third set with the teams fighting back and forth when Daniele Bagnoli tried his traditional double substitution (setter Alexander Butko and opposite player Maxim Mikhailov in). But like the day before it only made the things worse for the Russian team. At the second TTO Bulgaria was ahead 16-11. Luckily for the hosts another substitution of Bagnoli worked well. Yury Berezhko replaced Sergey Tetyukhin and initiated the Russian comeback with some brilliant play in attack. Russia gained the momentum and leveled at 19. A fast attack by Alexander Volkov ended the set at 25-22 and the match.