Russia dominated Finland from start to finish to continue their quest for a seventh crown
Wroclaw, Poland, September 10, 2014 – Olympic champions Russia outclassed Finland in straight sets (25-10, 25-18, 25-16) to open the actions of Pool F at the FIVB Men’s World Championship in Wroclaw on Wednesday afternoon.
The Russians improved to 11 points with a 4-0 win-loss record, including the stats accumulated in the first round accumulated against qualified teams. Finland fell to 1-3 with two points.
Russia outscored Finland in blocks (11-2) and aces (6-0) as they dominated their opponents, who only sporadically showed glimpses of their playing ability, from start to finish.
Dmitry Ilinykh led Russia with 16 points, twelve via spikes, while towering Dmitriy Muserskiy contributed 13 points, including four blocks and two aces. Nikolay Apalikov and Nikolay Pavlov chipped in with 12 and 10, respectively.
KonstantinShumov and Olli-Pekka Ojansivu each had six points in the losing effort.
• Muserskiy increased to 18 aces for the competition
• Russia are on a nine-match winning streak at the world championship
• It was the first meeting between the two teams at the world championships
From the beginning of the match Nikolay Pavlov was showing some spectacular kills which were too strong for Finland’ team. With a focussed defence and great moves on the counter-attack, the Russians managed to jump out to lead 8-1. Dmitriy Muserskiy and his single block gave his team another seven points in a row. Following the break, Russia’s team were punishing their opponents even more. Head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo asked for two time-outs for his team and substituted Olli Kunnari with Niklas Seppanen. Still, at the second technical time-out, Finland trailed by twelve points. The Finnish players could not find a way to finish their spikes and with a lot of mistakes, the Russians were dictating play. Following Dmitriy Ilinykh’s dink, they won the first set 25-10.
Surprisingly, Finland’s team started the next set with a three-point lead as the Russians made some simple errors. However with Muserskiy in great form, Russia quickly caught them. Finland stayed focused and calm so that they did not let the opponents to take a clear lead. Olli Kunnari beat the Russian side for a few times but following the technical break, head coach Andrey Voronkov’s team were systematically gaining points as the scoreboard showed 13-7. Fantastic Ilinykh blocks and kills from Nikolay Apalikov made the Finns helpless. Kunnari and Antti Siltala managed to beat the Russian defence with some precise kills, so the loss in the second set was less harmful. Kunnari’s service error gave the Russians a victory, 25-18.
For the third set, coach Sammelvuo decided to make three changes as Eemi Tervaporti, Olli-Pekka Ojansivu and Mikko Oivanen entered the court. During the first minutes, the set was levelled as both the teams were exchanging points. Again, the Russian side used lots of libero Lauri Kerminen’s reception mistakes, so that they worked out a seven-point lead before the second technical time-out. Astonishing Apalikov’s or Muserskiy’s spikes were unstoppable for the Finns and following a block-out move, Russia easily won 25-16.