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Zenit Kazan breeze past Paykan to win the bronze medal

The Zenit blockers were too difficult to penetrate from Paykan spikers
Doha, Qatar, November 8, 2009 -  Zenit Kazan of Russia gave all they had to clinch a straight sets victory over Paykan of Iran 25-13, 25-18, 25-16 in the bronze medal match of the 2009 Men’s Club World Championship here at the Aspire Zone Indoor Hall in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday. Zenit Kazan won the bronze medal while Paykan finished the competition in fourth position.

Zenit wing spiker Maxim Pantelemonenko and opposite Alexey Cheremisin were the stars of the match, together with blockers Alexander Abrosimov and Nikolai Apalikov, who barely allowed the Iranian team to enter the match at all throughout the three sets. Pantelemonenko topped the match scores with 17 points and Cheremisin came second, scoring 12 points. Mohammad Kazem was his team’s best scorer notching up 11 points.

Zenit Kazan started the match with the same squad that played PGE Skra Belchatow in the semi-final, having lost the efficient opposite Clayton Stanely to injury, while Payka started with the main line-up apart from Rahman Davoodi, who was replaced by Mojtaba Shaban in position four. The Russian team block formed its usual barrier in the face of the Iranian attacks. Zenit was leading 8-7 at the FTT, with the Paykan managing to keep the score fairly even thanks to its  well organized backline defence. The Russian team used their opposite Alexey Cheremisin to score frequently from position two aided by Maxim Pantelemonenko from position 4. It then became difficult for the Iranian team to stop the Russain attacks, and Zenit kept up the pressure to win the set 25-13.

The Iranians substituted Davoodi for Shaban at the start of the second set, and the Iranian team showed a more competitive spirit and an improved block, particularly through the efforts of center Mohammad Mousavi. Kazem also found more chances to spike from the combinations of setter Amir Hosseini, but Zenit was still ahead, 16-13, at the STT. Paykan fought hard to decrease their point deficit to 18-17, but Zenit again overwhelmed the situation with the activity of their spikers Pantelemonenko and Cheremisin, thus winning the set 25-18.

In the third set, Paykan committed frequent mistakes through lack of concentration, soon allowing the highly motivated Russian team to lead 8-3 using their immune block. Zenit also made full use of its strong attackers, particularly Pantelemonenko, who helped take his team to a 16-8 lead at the STT. Only a few more minutes were needed to put Zenit on the podium for the bronze medal, as they went through to win the set 25-16, and the match in straight sets.

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