Zenit Kazan wins Russian Supercup
The match was tense and dramatic, with a similar result to the Olympic final in London where Russia came from behind to beat Brazil. Kazan – whose roster includes four Olympic champions – was able to flip the tables on Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, coming back from two sets down to eventually win the game 3-2 (22-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-16, and 15-10).
"I admire the character of my players," said coach Vladimir Alekno after the match. "It is already the fourth time in the last four years that we’ve edged Lokomotiv after coming back from two sets down. This sounds like some bad luck for our opponents, but it is certainly good for us!"
The top scorer was Maxim Mikhaylov, who collected 23 points. Two players made their debut for Zenit, namely American opposite Matthew Anderson and setter Igor Kolodinsky.
Kazan has starred in all five editions of the Russian Supercup since it was first introduced in 2008. They lost twice in a row to Dinamo Moscow in 2008 and 2009 before seizing the cup for the first time in 2010 by beating Belogorie Belgorod. Last year they easily downed Novosibirsk 3-0.
Since they split the national league and cup in 2011, Kazan and Novosibirsk re-opened the 2012 season with this clash. Both teams will also represent Russia in the upcoming 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League.
Zenit Kazan will be in Doha, Qatar for the 2012 FIVB Club World Championships from October 13 to 19. Information about the competition is available here.