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Italy defeat Russia 3-1 in Surgut

Russia struggled to cope with Italy's excellent blocking

Surgut, Russia, June 21, 2013 – Italy defeated Russia 3-1 (26-24, 28-30, 25-20, 25-17) in their 2013 FIVB World League match in Surgut on Friday, ending the hosts' unbeaten run in the tournament. Italy remain unbeaten and top pool B.

Italy started well, with Cristian Savani and Ivan Zaytsev attacking superbly, and had a three-point advantage at the first technical timeout. Russia's Nikolay Pavlov helped tie the score at 11-11, forcing Italy coach Berruto Mauro to call for a timeout. Italy fought back and closed the set out, 24-26.

In set two, Italy surged ahead, but Alexey Spiridonov and Nikolay Pavlov’s spikes helped to bring some Russian stability, and the score levelled at 14-14. Italy continued to battle at the net, but Russia stormed ahead to take a slight lead 22-21. The teams traded the points in a determined fight, and eventually Russia finished it 30-28. 1-1.

The visitors made a good start in the third set, and their hitting power gave them a 10-8 lead. Russia didn’t manage to break the Italian rhythm, and Andrey Voronkov’s team needed a timeout to regroup. But Italy had answers to all Russia's attacks, and won the set 25-20.

Russia fought well again in the fourth set, but with Ivan Zaytsev on fine form, Italy's effective spikes put them 16-13 up, and they held on to clinch the set 25-17, and the match. 

Ivan Zaytsev was the match's top scorer with 28 points for Italy. Nikolay Pavlov earned 15 for Russia.

Undefeated Italy are top of Pool B with 14 points, Russia are now second with 11 points. The two sides meet again at the same venue, Energetik, on Saturday.

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