FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Puerto Rican resist but Belogorie Belgorod stomp for first win in Brazil

Muserskiy and Panteleymonenko topped the scores for Russia's Belogorie Belgorod

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, May 6, 2014 - In the first match of FIVB Men’s Club World Championship that lasted longer than three sets, Russia’s Belogorie Belgorod achieved a win in its premiere after overcoming a struggling side of Guaynabo Mets. The team from Puerto Rico managed to take one set from the European champions, but in the end they lost 3-1 (25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19).

Guaynabo’s Jackson Rivera played the match of his life and finished as the main scorer with 17 points, ahead of some world-known players as Dmitriy Muserskiy (15) and Taras Khtey (11). For Belgorod, Maxim Panteleymonenko also added 14 shots.

Belogorie demolished the Guaynabo Mets in the first moments of the game, opening with a tremendous 8-0 built almost exclusively by György Grozer, who pulled out two spikes and four blocks. After the TTO, the Puerto Rican side scored for the first time, but the gap remained to 12-4 and 16-8 with Panteleymonenko and legendary Sergey Tetyukhin in scene. Later on, Grozer added another block (19-10), but the Caribbean spirit finally appeared on the final track. After a couple of wide balls from Belogorie, Edwin Montano reduced to 20-15 and allowed his side to finish the set in a better way, before the final ball smashed by Panteleymonenko at 25-17.

Rivera pushed his side forward in the second set, with a great block over Grozer and a good back-row attack, both vital for a 7-5 lead. Jonathan King also blocked and Rivera spiked at 12-10, but Belogorie answered also through the blocking: Bogomolov first and Muserskiy after, were the ones who formed a 16-14 for the Russians. In control of the game, Belogorie used serves from Italy’s Dragan Travica to generate successful counterattacks (19-14). Both teams attacked well next, and that allowed the European champions to close the set at 25-19, with a soft touch by Muserskiy.

For the third set, Belogorie included captain Khtey, middle-blocker Alexey Kazakov and spiker Dmitriy Ilinykh in the starting six, but Guaynabo Mets started better, with less errors towards an 8-4 board. However, the Puerto Ricans could only lead for a while, because Muserskiy emerged from the middle and scored to an 11-10 for his side. Even though the Mets kept defending, the European offensive proved to be better and persistent enough, en-route to a 15-11. Always with Rivera ahead, Guaynabo created another tie (17-17) and managed to lead at 23-20, after a Russian ball that went straight into the antenna, and King landed a spike for an unforgettable 25-22.

Belgorod came out decided to finish the match in the fourth set and made its way to a 10-5 lead with a nice short spike from Ilinykh. Panteleymonenko reappeared as scorer and Guaynabo, even though still had some spirit, played at a lower rate on the way to the second TTO (16-12). Muserskiy performed more stuff blocks for a 19-15 score and Belogorie easily cruised to the end. The 3-1 victory was established by a wrong serve from Guaynabo, by 25-19.

On Wednesday, Guaynabo Mets will finish their journey at the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship against Matin Varamin of Iran, while Belgorod will feature an astonishing clash against home side Sada Cruzeiro.

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