The champions were upset again. “Belogorye” won a resounding victory over “Zenit-Kazan”
Elena Kovalenko November 16, 2023, 01:15 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Alexander Volkov’s team entered the second thousand wonderfully.
“National volleyball classics”
In the central match of matchday 5 of the Volleyball Super League, two giants of the Russian championship faced off: Belogorye and Zenit-Kazan. The attention of all sports fans also attracted the illuminated sign: “National volleyball classics”, a confrontation between the two most titled clubs in the country.
And the “lions” played their 1001st game in the national championship.
What kind of “classic” is this?
The battle between the two best volleyball teams in Russia is a special brand. What is the “classic” known for?
Both teams, like last year, took a creative approach when creating uniforms for this game. If last season the emphasis was on the retro style and the history of the teams, this time, on the culture of different countries. “Belogorye” put accents on the spirit of Morocco and China. The countries were not chosen by chance: there are currently players from these countries playing in the club. Well, Zenit-Kazan expressed its gratitude to fans around the world.
How great the uniform looked for the game:
Teams will enter the main circuit battle in unusual uniforms. The party was dedicated to multiculturalism.
In the off-season, the Belgorod club was able to keep almost its entire staff. There are only two newcomers: Chinese setter Jinyin Zhang and setter Kirill Chekmizov. But the main change occurred on the bridge. Belogorye’s head coach is now Alexander Volkov, who last season was a player for Zenit Kazan.
There have also been changes in the composition of the guests. But even here they are rather point by point and do not change the pattern of the game. The main thing that the Kazan team achieved was to completely retain the starting six players.
The teams came to this round with the same number of victories: three each. The Kazan team received a “click on the nose” in the match against Novosibirsk Lokomotiv. And “Belogorye” unexpectedly lost to the Orenburg “Neftyanik”. But in terms of the ratio of won and lost games, Belgorod had an advantage, so in the standings the “lions” were a little higher, in fifth place. The Kazan team is in seventh place.
Zenit-Kazan took the first set
From the first minutes, Alexey Verbov introduced Mikhail Lobinsky into the main lineup, who proved himself at the beginning of the championship and showed good statistics. He replaced Belgian finalist Sam Dero. There was also the usual replacement of central players: Roman Romanovsky instead of Artyom Volvich. But this replacement is more tactical in nature: it leaves Roman with two starts to serve, and the team captain plays the main role. The Belgorod team also replaced its blockers: instead of the tall Georgy Zabolotnikov, Sergey Chervyakov started.
From the first minutes of the match the visitors from Kazan took the initiative, but the match did not go well for the locals. Moroccan Al Khachdadi made several errors in a row that allowed Zenit to take the lead. Thanks to Mike’s good technique, Christenson distributed quick passes to the wingers: Maxim Mikhailov and Dmitry Volkov. The latter increased the difference on the scoreboard to four goals: 8:4. In Belogorye, only Zhang managed to face an organized block and score points. With Mikey Christenson’s serve, the Kazan volleyball players continued to increase the difference – 14:8. Belogorye’s players tried to strengthen their serve, but to no avail. Zenit-Kazan controlled its lead on the scoreboard until the end of the match (25:18).
“Belogorye” won a resounding victory over “Zenit-Kazan”
At the beginning of the second set, the Kazan team again had the advantage. But the “lions” knew how to improve their reception and gave carte blanche to Roman Poroshin, who began to effectively use the players of the first half. Zhang skillfully overcame someone else’s block and then gave life to the team, performing an ace on serve and reducing the gap on the scoreboard to a minimum – 9:10.
But the most interesting thing began after two aces from Pavel Tetyukhin. “Belogorye” finally took the lead for the first time – 22:21. A tenacious battle began with more and less, the score exceeded 25 points. Both teams had equal chances to finish the match in their favor, but the Belgorod team did it. On the sixth (!) attempt, the Chinese legionnaire won the set – 34:32.
Belogorye victory in four sets.
In the third set the situation changed, the home team started with confidence. Georgy Zabolotnikov entered the game well: he caused problems for the Kazan team both at the net and at the service line (9:7). And then, with a block, he increased Belgorod’s lead to three goals – 15:12. The Kazan team managed to reduce the gap to one point with Maxim Mikhailov’s serve, but the chance to catch up with the opponent faded after Ivan Podrebinkin’s successful actions on attack and serve. The Lions again got off to a comfortable start. And the game ended with Mikhailov’s error on serve – 25:21.
“Belogorye” defeated “Zenit-Kazan”
In the decisive set, Zenit immediately entered the fight 4:2. But the serve saved Belogorye again, Pavel Tetyukhin equalized the score with an ace (5:5). Then the coach of the Belgorod team had to take a break to weaken Dmitry Volkov’s cannon serve. Not without difficulties, but the owners managed to film. And the key factor was the excellent defensive play of the Belgorod team: Roman Bragin received the hardest balls. And Zenit’s own errors in service and attack did not allow them to take advantage on the scoreboard.
In Belogorye, on the other hand, Al Khachdadi came out with new forces and carried out several effective attacks. Pavel Tetyukhin scored the decisive goals in the end. And Zabolotnikov scored a beautiful point in the match: 25:21.
Belogorye’s most productive player was Zhang Jinying. The Chinese finalist contributed 20 points to his team. Zenit-Kazan’s best player is Dmitry Volkov, with 25 points.
The victory allowed Volkov’s team to get closer to the top three. Meanwhile, Zenit has gone back another line.