FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Russia beat France in a dramatic semifinal to face Brazil for the world title


15 kill blocks helped send Russia into the final

Ankara, Turkey, August 31, 2013 – Russia will face Brazil in Sunday’s grand finale of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Ankara. They earned their spot in the last battle for the planetary throne with a dramatic 3-1 (27-25, 24-26, 25-18, 27-25) semifinal victory over France.

 

Russia took an early four-point lead before the first technical time-out, but France gradually recovered to tie at 17-17 and even take the lead over the following several rallies.  Still it was Russia to reach set point first at 24-23.  France also had an opportunity to win the set at 25-24, but three points in row sealed a 27-25 win for Mikhail Nikolaev’s team.  The ending of the second set was no less dramatic.  At 24-19, France looked like the sure winner, but Russia scored five consecutive points to tie at 24 each.  But this did not suffice as Stephane Faure’s players managed to claim the next two rallies and the set by 26-24.  Five aces helped Russia dominate in set three to close it at a convincing 25-18.  The fourth set offered another heart-breaking finish.  The Russians could already see themselves in the final as they led by 24-21, but France fought back to stay alive through these three, and then one more, set points before two kill blocks in a row for 27-25 sent Russia partying.

 

France’s Julien Winkelmuller scored 19 points to top Russia’s Ilyas Kurkaev by one point for the best scorer of the match position.  Russia’s 15 kill blocks and 6 aces, in comparison to 10 and 3 for France, set the foundation for their victorious performance.

 

 

 

 

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