FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Russia pass tough Iran test

Wing spiker Leonid Shchadilov was one of Russia's top scorers

Uberlandia, Brazil, October 8, 2013 - Russia overcame their toughest test yet at the Men's U23 World Championship with a 3-1 (22-20, 15-21, 21-17, 21-12) win against Iran in the first match on day three at the Arena Presidente Tancredo Neves.

Iran kept Russia within range throughout the first set thanks to a combination of wing spikers Mojtaba Mirzajanpour and Hamed Tariverdi, and opposite Reza Ghara. They had a set point at 20-19, but errors in the crucial final points handed it to Russia 22-20.

Russia started the second set better, but Iran managed to level the score before moving ahead 12-8 at the technical timeout. Opposite Ghara dominated the scoring as Iran kept the pressure on Russia and won the set 21-15 to level the match at 1-1.

Russia were just behind at the technical timeout in the third set, but they turned it around with some strong attacking and good net defence by middle blocker Ivan Demakov, to take the set 21-17.

Russia controlled the fourth set, turning a small early lead into a comfortable 21-12 set which gave them a 3-1 victory. Middle blocker Alexander Safonov (12) and wing spiker Leonid Shchadilov (12) were Russia's top scorers while their team total of 15 blocking points was the highest in the tournament so far.

Ghara finished as Iran's top scorer with 20 points, but a total of 25 errors was too many to give away against Russia.

Day four of competition is the penultimate round of pool matches with Russia again first on court, up against Australia, while Iran face Serbia in a crucial match that could decide the pool B qualifiers.

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