20 April 2021

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Russia: Lokomotiv come back from 2-sets down to beat Zenit Kazan at start of Final Six. Zenit Saint Petersburg outplayed Fakel.

3 min read

The Russian Super League’s final six in Moscow begins immediately with a surprise.
In the first Pool B match, Lokomotiv Novosbirsk was the protagonist of a sensational comeback against Zenit Kazan, who led the match 2-0 and then also 18:14, 20:17 and 23:21 in the fourth set. Led by Luburic (33 points, 60% in attack, 1 block and 6 aces in the match, 6/7 in attack in the fifth set), the winners however canceled 3 match points on 24:23, 25:24, 26:25 and reversed the situation thanks to a block by Rodichev (26:27) and an error by Volvich (27:29). In the tie-break, Luburic makes the decisive break using a free ball (5:7) and the Siberians keep the small advantage until the end, with the last 3 points still signed by Luburic. For Kazan, Mikhaylov’s 27 points with 74% in attack are not enough (0 errors, 0 blocked!), and they suffered also Ngapeth’s bad day: just 43% and 14% efficiency in attack, 3 errors in reception, 5 errors from the service line, 0 aces.

In the second match, valid for Pool A, Zenit St. Petersburg (still without Poletaev, but with Camejo back in starting six and effective in attack, as well as the top scorer Kliuka) defeated Fakel Novy Urengoy 3-1 in comeback, and thus Volkov’s good performance wasn’t enough. After 7 aces scored in the first set, Fakel only scores 3 aces in the rest of the match, while St. Petersburg grows from the service line, and closes with a total of 9 aces (after only 2 in the first set). The decisive moment of the match was the final of the third set, decided by an attack and an ace by Iakovlev. Egor Kliuka was the top scorer of the match with 22 points, including 4 aces, while Ivan Yakovlev sets up 5 blocks.

Complete program and results below:

| 2020/21 Russian Superliga Parimatch, Preliminary Round playoffsFinal Six in Moscow

| April 5
| POOL A
• Zenit Saint Petersburg – Fakel Novy Urengoy 3-1 (20:25, 25:19, 25:23, 25:17)
Saint Petersburg: Brizard 4, Kliuka 22, Pashytskyy 8, Podrebinkin 7, Camejo 16, Iakovlev 14, Melkozerov (L). Not entered: Kovalev, Kurbanov, Ursov, Filippov, Andreev (L), Kosmin, Poletaev. Coach: Sammelvuo.
Fakel: Zhukouski 3, Bogdan 13, Gutsalyuk 9, Zhigalov 11, Volkov 19, Aleksey Safonov 3, Shoji (L); Antipkin O, Boldyrev 0, Iakovlev 1. Not entered: Dikarev, Volodin, Kasatkin (L), Petrushov. Coach: Nikolaev.

| POOL B
• Zenit Kazan – Lokomotiv Novosibirsk 2-3 (25:19, 25:23, 22:25, 27:29, 13:15)
Kazan: Butko 4, Ngapeth 7, Volvich 2, Mikhaylov 27, Bednorz 19, Volkov 9, Golubev (L); Krotkov (L), Voronkov 5, Surmachevskiy 2, Zemchenok 0. Not entered: Alekno, Kononov, Smolyar. Coach: Alekno.
Novosibirsk: Abaev 2, Ivovic 13, Shcherbinin 6, Luburic 33, Savin 7, Kurkaev 11, Martyniuk (L); Rodichev 10, Krivitchenko (L), Tisevich 0. Not entered: Tkachev, Kruglov, Lyzik, Komarov. Coach: Konstantinov.

| Standings
| POOL A: Zenit Saint Petersburg 3, Fakel Novy Urengoy, Dinamo Moscow 0.

| POOL B: Lokomotiv Novosibirsk 2, Zenit Kazan 1, Kuzbass Kemerovo 0.

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| April 6
| POOL A
Dinamo Moscow – Zenit Saint Petersburg 3-1 (20:25, 25:21, 25:16, 25:21)
| POOL B
Kuzbass Kemerovo – Zenit Kazan 3-2 (21:25, 25:17, 20:25, 25:18, 15:13)

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| April 7
| POOL A
Fakel Novy Urengoy – Dinamo Moscow 2-3 (28:26, 27:25, 18:25, 22:25, 15:17)
| POOL B
Lokomotiv Novosibirsk – Kuzbass Kemerovo 1-3 (19:25, 23:25, 25:22, 26:28)

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| April 9
Final 5th-6th place | Fakel Novy Urengoy – Zenit Kazan 1-3 (21:25, 25:23, 15:25, 19:25)

1st Semifinal | Kuzbass Kemerovo (1B) – Zenit Saint Petersburg (2A) 2-3 (24:26, 25:22, 26:24, 22:25, 11:15)
2nd Semifinal | Dinamo Moscow (1A) – Lokomotiv (2B) 3-1 (25:17, 25:13, 16:25, 25:23)
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| April 10
• Final 3rd-4th place | Kuzbass Kemerovo – Lokomotiv Novosibirsk 1-3 (26:24, 23:25, 13:25, 21:25)
• Final 1st-2nd place | Zenit Saint Petersburg – Dinamo Moscow 1-3 (21:25, 18:25, 25:23, 24:26)

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