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38 points from Parubets not enough to prevent major upset in Russia

Uralochka’s Kseniia Parubets in action (photo: vc-lokomotiv.com)

The first leg of the women’s 2020-2021 Superliga in Russia would have gone by without any surprises, if it weren’t for the sensational upset newly-promoted Lipetsk delivered at Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg despite a smashing 38 points by Kseniia Parubets.

Steered by the legendary Nikolay Karpol, the most decorated team in the history of the Russian championships and bronze medallists of the 2020 edition hammered out emphatic wins in the first two sets, but the “unthinkable” was yet to happen.

Newcomers Lipetsk, champions of Russia’s second division last season, found their rhythm in the third set to start mounting a tremendous turnaround. Parubets, the big star of Uralochka and the Russian national team and last season’s best scorer of the Superliga, kept scoring away, but her 38-point tally, including one ace and three blocks, was not enough to prevent the fantastic comeback of the visiting team.

With a 28-point contribution by Lipetsk’s 1.90m-tall outside hitter Irina Sazonova, the visiting squad kept up the pressure on the way to a 3-2 (11-25, 12-25, 25-23, 2-18, 15-13) victory.

More volleyball from Russia:
Star-studded women’s Superliga set to begin in Russia 

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