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Russia reprise Olympic comeback with win over Brazil

Russian players celebrate another come-from-behind victory over Brazil similarly to what they had done at London 2012

Tokyo, Japan, November 23, 2013 - Russia denied Brazil a chance to clinch the gold medal with a five-set (20-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 15-9) victory on Saturday in the World Grand Champions Cup.

The result left both teams with 3-1 records in what was a rematch of the 2012 Olympic final won by Russia in similar fashion.

The match marked the first meeting ever between Brazil and Russia in the World Grand Champions Cup. It was the 60th match overall between the countries, with Brazil leading 32-28 alltime.

The South Americans came into the match knowing that a 3-0 or 3-1 victory would clinch the gold for them and took the initiative from the outset.

Dmitriy Ilinykh paced Russia with 21 points, while Dmitriy Muserskiy added 20.

Wallace De Souza led Brazil with 21. Ricardo Lucarelli contributed 14.

Both sides featured huge serves throughout the match, but Russia persevered and prevailed in the end.

After falling behind two sets, the Russians dug deep and went on the attack.

Brazil jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the opening set. A block by Muserskiy saw Brazil up 6-3. Bruno Rezende's spike sent Brazil into the first TTO with an 8-4 lead. Brazil boosted its lead to 12-5 and Russia called a timeout. Mikhaylov's block cut the deficit to 13-7. Nikolay Apalikov fired a spike long and Brazil was up 14-9. A block by Ricardo made it 15-9. Lucas Saatkamp sent a spike right down the middle and Brazil was on top 16-10 at the second TTO.

Ricardo soared for a spike and Brazil was ahead 18-12. De Souza's spike made it 20-15 for Brazil. Apalikov fired a serve long and it was 22-17. After Mikhaylov served into the net Brazil was two points from the set at 23-18. Lucas sent a spike wide and Russia moved within three at 23-20. Brazil then took a timeout. Ricardo's spike gave Brazil set point at 24-20. Brazil took the set 25-20 when a fortuitous return landed just inside the sideline mark. Mikhaylov notched seven points in the set, while Ricardo had six.

Russia established a 5-3 lead in the second set on a service ace by Muserskiy. The big man then fired another one and Brazil called a timeout. A service ace by Lucas moved Brazil within on at 6-5. A reception error allowed to Brazil to level at 6-6. Brazil led 8-6 at the first TTO. A spike by Ilinykh tied it 9-9. Brazil led 13-12 despite a service error by Ricardo. Lucas delivered a perfectly place serve for an ace and Brazil was up 15-12. Brazil led 16-12 at the second TTO.

A block by Sidnei Dos Santo put Brazil's margin up to six at 19-13. Russia then scored four in a row to make it 19-17. A soft return by Wallace saw Brazil in front 21-18. Wallace rose for a spike and Brazil was two points from the set at 23-19. A block by  Muserskiy made it 23-21. Lucas then hammered a spike and it was set point at 24-21.  Muserskiy then served into the net and Brazil took the set 25-22.

Russia led 8-6 at the first TTO in the third set. Wallace pounded a spike and Brazil trailed 9-8. Another Wallace spiked evened the score 11-11. Lucas fired a service ace and Brazil moved ahead at 14-13. Mauricio Borges smashed a spike putting Brazil up 15-13 and Russia called a timeout. A return error by Russia made it 16-13 at the second TTO.

A block by Andrey Ashchev moved Russia back within one at 16-15. Russia then equalized when Wallace's spike hit the antenna. Mauricio gave Brazil back the lead 17-16 a spike that floored Muserskiy. Ricardo put Brazil up 19-18 with a spike. Wallace made it 20-19 for Brazil with a crosscourt spike. Russia retook the lead 21-20 on a spike. Muserskiy's spike made it 22-21 as Russia fought to stay in the match. Ilinykh hit Evandro Guerra with a serve as he tried to get out of the way and it was 23-21. Pavlov gave Russia the set 25-21 with a spike.

A service ace by Muserskiy gave Brazil a 5-3 lead in the fourth set. Russia was up 8-5 at the first TTO. A spike by Dos Santos pulled Brazil within one at 9-8. Wallace served into the net and Russia led 11-10. Pavlov's spike made it 14-11 for Russia and Brazil called a timeout. A block by Ilinkh put Russia up five at 18-13. Dos Santos served into the net and it was 20-15. Muserskiy crushed a spike and it was 23-16. A Muserskiy block gave Russia set point at 24-16. Russia wrapped up the set 25-17.

A spike by Ilinykh made it 5-2 for Russia as they retained the momentum from the previous two sets. Russia made it 8-4 by the changeover. Maruico's spike made it 9-5, but Russia was relentless as it drove for the line. A block by Evgeny Sivozhelez made it 12-6 and the result was all but academic. Sivozhelez made a kick save to keep a ball alive and Russia gained match point at 14-8. Wallace fired a serve long and Russia claimed the match 15-9.



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