Berlin, Germany, June 24, 2011 – Russia kept their unbeaten record in the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League intact on Friday evening with a 3-1 (27-29, 25-20, 25-16, 28-26) win over hosts Germany in Berlin.
The best scorers were Robert Kromm and Jochen Schöps who both scored 14 points for Germany and Maxim Mikhaylov who topped the tally with 21 points for the guests.
After several service errors on both sides Germany had the better start and made furtheradvances through Schöps attacking and Marcus Böhme blocking. The guests eventually fought back through the amazing service series of Russian Dmitriy Ilinykh. But a German triple block finished the set as the home side took the lead.
Russian coach Vladimir Alekno started with Denis Biriukov for Ilinykh and the guests also made the first break through an ace by Mikhaylov. The Russia lead was four points but an ace by German captain Kromm and Stefan Hübner blocking huskily brought the hosts back level. But the world No.2 went a step ahead and a constant block and defense brought the decisive three point lead which was finalized by two aces from Biriukov to bring the scores to 1-1.
After an even start an inaccurate reception from German libero Markus Steuerwald brought the first break before the technical time out. The guests then went further into the lead and despite a valiant fightback it was the Russians who took a 2-1 lead.
The hosts started came out in a much more aggressive manner in th fourth with Böhme, Schöps and Kromm serving with a lot of pressure and old hand Hübner showing that he is still one of the best blockers in the world. The guests came closer and equalized before Denys Kaliberda, who is celebrating his birthday today, was blocked by Russia. Afterwards the German wing spiker did better and brought back the lead. A couple of vital points from Russia brought another change in the lead and two aces by German Böhme an equalized score board at 20-20. Every point was a hard fight and Mikhaylov won the first match point which he then duly blocked on the fourth occasion to clich the win.
Russia will now face Bulgaria and Germany host Japan on the final weekend of the Intercontinental Round in seven days time.