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Belgorod bounce back on time to reach FIVB Men’s Club World Championship final

Belogorie Belgorod made it into the final over a resilient side of UPCN
Belo Horizonte, Brazil, May 9, 2014 - After losing the first set in a clear way, European champions Belogorie Belgorod played at top form to qualify for the final match of FIVB Men’s Club World Championship in Belo Horizonte. The Russian team turned around the match against UPCN from Argentina and won 3-1 (19-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-20).

Performing well in all aspects of the game, György Grozer was on top of the scoring table with 18 points, joined by Dmitriy Muserskiy with 15. The same amount was charted by a key player for the game: Dmitriy Ilinykh, who entered for the first set and stayed on court until the end. UPCN had in Brazilian opposite Theo Lopes their best display, also with 15 tallies.

The first semifinal match at Belo Horizonte started as a chess game, with very slight details deciding the action. A couple of successful defensive efforts form UPCN generated counterspikes from Theo and Bogdan Olteanu to a 10-8 score. From then on, UPCN served extraordinary well and escaped to 16-11 combining blocks and some smart spiking by Javier Filardi. Martín Ramos smashed at 20-15 and a long attack from Belgorod pushed UPCN even closer (21-15). A great back-hand touch by Demián González established the 24-19 and Filardi hammered the 25-19. 

Grozer served two exactly identical serves and aced twice for a quick answer from Belgorod (5-2), providing the Russian team the chance to arrive ahead at the TTO by 8-4. In a set completely opposite to the previous one, it was Belgorod who easily advanced to 14-7 after a touch by Bogomolov. The gap widened to 10 points at 20-10 and it was rather easy for the European champion to level the game. Grozer contributed with a stuff block and, using the same weapon, Muserskiy finished it off at 25-14.

With Ilinykh, Belgorod improved in reception and Tetyukhin settled his side at 13-9, after a first part that was closer than the previous ones. Filardi wasn’t able to defeat a tremendous triple block from Belgorod and the score turned into 16-12, but the Argentinean wing spiker had his rematch in the next ball. UPCN managed to tie at 17 after a block from Theo and a net fault, but Bogomolov achieved the side-out and, later on, Ilinykh unleashed two great serves for a 22-19. Grozer scored the three next points towards the 25-21. 

The game remained leveled at the fourth set, until a block from Grozer over Olteanu right before the first TTO (8-6). Muserskiy scored the same way and Belgorod advanced to 13-11, with UPCN much better in attacking, but unable to reduce the gap. Ilinykh nailed his third ace at 16-13 and repeated after the break, to 17-13. Even though UPCN got closer, Ilinykh opened the final track at 20-18 and he blocked a while later (22-19). Rounding up a very successful entrance for Belgorod, the same Ilinykh achieved the place in the final by 25-20.

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