FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Top scorer Pavlov points to fitness as the key to victory

Nikolay Pavlov and Italian skipper Cristian Savani together after Russia's win in the first FIVB World League 2013 semifinal

Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 20, 2013 - Russia's top scorer with 21 points, Nikolay Pavlov, said fitness was the difference between the two sides after Russia beat Italy 3-1 (25-12, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20) in the first semifinal of the FIVB Volleyball World League 2013 on Saturday.

"The first set we won easily, they were playing their third match in a row, in the second one they played better and after the break we began to make some mistakes. Italy is a well prepared team and don't forgive these kind of mistakes

"I don't agree with Spiridonov's red card because he didn't do anything to make things worst in that moment, but it's just a game and we are very happy to be finalists."

Meanwhile coach
Andrey Voronkov agreed with Pavlov concerning the fact that Russia's extra day of rest helped:

"I think physical effort played an important part in this match. We were more concentrated and with more strength which help us to win.

"We were better in all the aspects of the game, the team was motivated and could earn the victory because we played as a team.

"The moment of the red card was a misunderstanding, something unexpected but it was a really emotive match and the players wanted to win so bad so this can happen."

In terms of who the other finalist would be, Voronkov found Brazil and Bulgaria hard to split.

"Brazil and Bulgaria are both strong teams. Brazil has a quick game and good defense and Bulgaria has very good players who also want to reach the finals. I think all the matches from now on are going to be really emotional but the support of the people here, being so far from home, is important for us".

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