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Russia obtained the 1st Victory in the WCH

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vsThaiVerona, Italy. 23 September 2014. Two-time defending champions Team Russia standing in Pool C took the first victory effortlessly in one of the opening matches of World Championship 2014 against Thailand in straight sets 3:0(25:18, 25:19, 25:22) at PalaOlimpia. Adding to the winning record straight, Russia have won 23 of their last 24 World Championship matches since winning bronze in 2002.

The result did not surprise any audience at all, not to mention Thailand could not apply the strongest composition, key players from which are now playing for the country in Asian Games taken place in Korea. However, there are few focuses that catches the world’s attention: 1) start six composition after Gamova’s official return, 2) which position Gamova takes and 3) selection of middle blockers

Start Six Composition
Setter: Startseva,
Opposite Hitter: Gamova-Mukasey,
Outside Hitter: Obmochaeva, Kosheleva,
Middle Blocker: Fetisova, Moroz,
Libero: Kryuchkova / Malova

First, Gamova put on her national jersey with husband surname aka “Gamova-Mukasey” for the first time while she continues to play as Opposite Hitter like before. What is pretty unexpected is that Zaryazhko and Malykh, who are in the frequent start-six composition in previous national tournaments since 2013, are both missing in today’s player list. It is speculated that they may make their debut appearance for the World Championship 2014 in tomorrow’s match against the C-list opponent Mexico.

In addition, at the ending stage of each set, a patterned substitution is observed. Gamova sub.by Kosianenko; Startseva sub. by Pasynkova; Kosheleva sub. by Shcherban.

Back to the match, Russia today had maintained quite a stable performance. Best Attacker and  MVP of 2010 WCH, Koseheleva and Gamova together with Obmochaeva shared the attacks evenly throughout the matches and gave a convincing attack especially for Kosheleva and Gamova with high scoring rate. In the 1st set, Russia had been very focused and led Thailand by few points ahead before the 1st technical timeout. Thailand did well after the technical timeout and scored a few points with their strong defense and counter-attack. Nevertheless, they failed to narrow the gap and lost the 1st set (18:25) after Kosheleva scored the final point with her sharp signature attack. The 2nd set developed more or less the same as set 1. Russia continued to dominate the set with their strong attack and block. Obmochaeava closed set 2 with her attack in the last point. (25:19)Set 3 was a relatively balanced set and the two teams were on tie before the 1st technical timeout. But after that powerhouse Russia turned on their scoring engine and developed a big lead at 16:10 in the 2nd technical timeout. The set then became dramatic after the substitution called by Russia. Kosheleva and Gamova were substituted by Shcherban and Kosianenko respectively. Although the team had already secured their match point with 24:17, the team suddenly lost momentum with many errors whereas Thailand remained very focused in their attack and block and managed to close the gap to 22:24. Marichev had no choice but got Kosheleva back to the court who finally clinched the match with a clean attack.

Beside the three attackers mentioned above, the two middle blockers did give us an impressive performance especially with Fetisova’s block. She delivered 4 kill block throughout the match (Total 12 for the team). Regina Moroz who is a new comer of the team was able to score with  spectacular quick attack, total 7 points in the attack. It is speculated that the result may be attributed by the chemistry among Startseva, Gamova and Moroz who are playing in the same club, Kazan.

Tomorrow at 17:00 (local time), Russia will face Mexico. Let’s keep our support for the girls and stay tuned at Volleyrussia for any news update for the WCH 2014.

FIVB Women’s World Championship. Bari.

Pool C. 1st round

Russia: Shcherban, Pasynkova (1), Kryuchkova (L), Obmochaeava (13), Kosianenko, Gamova (14), Startseva (2), Fetisova (8), Kosheleva (14), Podskalnaya, Malova (L), Moroz (9)

Thailand: Buakaew (L), Sanitklang (1), Bamrungsuk (6), Phocharoen, Moksri, Luangtonglang (9), Bundasak (2), Guedpard (2), Kaewpin (8), Kongyot (15), Phomla

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I hope that this team will not be baffled by the injury as his male counterpart was.But as the pression increases there will be too much tension and injury occurs without prevention whatever the quality of the preparation.It’s what happened to the men national team That is why I continue to insist that the national team of Russia should have a specialist of Russian Systema to teach it decompress physically and mentally. There is a lot of expectation when it comes to the Russian volleyball team.

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