The matches of Round 2 of the pool stage of the Final Six of the Russian super league were played today.
In Pool B, Kuzbass Kemerovo defeated Zenit Kazan at the tie-break. With 2 defeats in 2 games, the giants from Tatarsan region are already out of the semifinals (Kemerovo and Novosibirsk will play for the first place in the Pool tomorrow). Thus, another year to forget for Zenit Kazan, previously defeated in the semifinals both in the Russian Cup and in the Champions League. The most titled club in the Russian league won’t be among the medal winners in the competition for the first time since the 2005/06 season.
The Super Cup won in October cannot be enough to save a really bad season.
Today Kazan (3rd in regular season, 19-7 record) made the difference in attack in the first (39% to 56%) and in the third set (43% to 62%) while Kemerovo was really good from the service line in the second (4 aces to 0) and fourth sets (5 ace to 1). The match was therefore decided at the tie-break where Kemerovo immediately started strong with Sivozhelez’s block over Mikhaylov, the ace by Zaytsev (top scorer of the match with 26 points and 56% in attack) and the attack out of Bednorz (3-0). Mikhaylov shortened the distance with an ace (3-2), but Kobzar placed a sensational block over Bednorz (5-2), who was definitively replaced by Voronkov. An ace by Butko (7-6), an error by Zaytsev (7-7) and a counterattack by Voronkov (8-9) turned the situation around. Kazan remained ahead until Ngapeth’s attack (12-13), but then Zaytsev reversed the situation with attack (13-13) and counterattack (14-13) and Ngapeth made the decisive error that closed the match (15-13).
It’s not yet determined which of the 3 teams from Pool A will progress to the top 4.
In this Pool today came the sixth win of the season (previously 2 on the road in the regular season, one on the road in the final of the Russian Cup, and two in the CEV Cup finals) of Dinamo Moscow against Zenit St. Petersburg. Sammelvuo’s team dominated the first set from the service line (4 aces) and in blocking (5), but never in attack (38%, with a peak of 42% in the first set), while the Final Six hosts ended the game with 56%, thus making the 26 errors from the service line almost irrelevant. From 7-2 of the 4th set, Zenit St. Petersburg has reproposed Poletaev on the field (1/1 in attack, and 1 ace) who could therefore return to the sextet for semifinal and final.
Podlesnykh (24 points, 65% in attack 1 block and 1 ace) and Sokolov (22 points, 50% in attack, 2 blocks and 4 aces) led the winners in this four sets victory.
| 2020/21 Russian Superliga Parimatch, Preliminary Round playoffs – Final Six in Moscow
| April 6
| POOL A
• Dinamo Moscow – Zenit Saint Petersburg 3-1 (20:25, 25:21, 25:16, 25:21)
Moscow: Pankov 2, Semyshev 10, Likhosherstov 6, Sokolov 22, Podlesnykh 24, Vlasov 11, Baranov (L); Sventitskis 0, Kabeshov (L). Not entered: Deroo, Shchkulyavichus, Siiemshchikov, Belogortchev, Korotaev. Coach: Brianskii.
Saint Petersburg: Brizard 1, Kliuka 15, Pashytskyy 5, Podrebinkin 7, Camejo 10, Iakovlev 6, Melkozerov (L); Kovalev O, Kurbanov 1, Ursov O, Andreev (L), Poletaev 2. Not entered: Filippov, Kosmin. Coach: Sammelvuo.
| POOL B
• Kuzbass Kemerovo – Zenit Kazan 3-2 (21:25, 25:17, 20:25, 25:18, 15:13)
Kemerovo: Kobzar 7, Markin 7, Shcherbakov 9, Zaitsev 26, Sivozhelez 17, Krsmanovic 9, Obmochaev (L). Not entered: Demakov, Karpukhov, Shishkin (L), Pakshin, Krechetov, Glivenko, Tavasiev. Coach: Verbov.
Kazan: Butko 3, Ngapeth 13, Volvich 13, Mikhaylov 21, Bednorz 10, Volkov 4, Golubev (L); Krotkov (L), Voronkov 5, Surmachevskiy 0, Alekno O, Zemchenoko. Not entered: Kononov, Smolyar. Coach: Alekno.
| POOL A: Dinamo Moscow 3, Zenit Saint Petersburg 3, Fakel Novy Urengoy.
| POOL B: Kuzbass Kemerovo 2 Lokomotiv Novosibirsk 2, Zenit Kazan 2.
| 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)
| 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)