Ekaterinburg, Russia, August 7, 2013 – The Russian city of Ekaterinburg is gearing up to host Pool J matches of the Preliminary Round of the FIVB World Grand Prix this weekend when Cuba, Italy, Russia and Thailand will be competing for a ticket to the FIVB Grand Prix Finals that will take place in Sapporo, Japan from August 28 to September 1.
The teams have already arrived and have carried out their first training sessions in preparation for this weekend’s matches, which start with Italy playing Russia at 11:00 GMT and Cuba taking on Thailand at 13:30 GMT.
Volleyball fans in Ekaterinburg will get to see Russia’s new women’s team, coached by Yuriy Marichev who was appointed only in spring.
This season will see the Russian national team without players like Ekaterina Gamova, the best spiker in the history of Russian volleyball or Middle Blockers Yulia Morozova and Maria Perepelkina. Following the 2012 Olympic Games, Evgeniya Estes and Lubov Sokolova are not in this year’s FIVB World Grand Prix line-up. However, Marichev has pulled together many successful new players for this year’s team including Natalia Obmochaeva and Tatiana Kosheleva. Alexandra Pasynkova was invited to Russian team after a five year break.
“In every match we try to decide two main tasks: how to win the match and how to show our best game. And showing our best game is the most important now,” Marichev said.