Lodz, Poland, September 20, 2014 – Russia finished solidly to take the fifth place, after defeating Iran 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-18) in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship at the Atlas Arena on Saturday.
• Russia matched their fifth place finish in 2010.
• Iran’s sixth place finish is a 13-place jump from their previous 19th place finish in 2010.
• Russia’s Nikolay Pavlov topped all scorers with 14 points, 12 of which came from attacks.
• Russia served six aces in the match.
Iran coach Slobodan Kovac, who led Iran to its highest position in their World Championship history, started the match with all his stars, apart from opposite hitter Amir Ghafour. Their captain, Mir Saeid Marouflakrani, saw action in the match and proved to be fit to play after a sore throat.
Russia coach Andrey Voronkov also played with almost all his aces, with Artem Volvich replacing Nikolay Apalikov.
Russia were superior froom the very beginning especially from the service line and block. Iran, however, could not execute decent passing, making it hard for setter Marouf to set-up their plays. The Olympic champions jumped to a 21-14 advantage and easily closed the set at 25-19, with Pavlov’s spiking and serving on target, earning 5 points and 2 points from these skills, respectively.
Iran regained their composure in the second set and led 8-7 at the first technical timeout. Milad Ebadipour and Amir Ghafour played a key role to score 12 points for the Iranian side, while team-mate Mousavi manned the net with two blocks. Both teams played with an exchange of rallies until Pavlov finished on a counter attack to put the Russians ahead with two points at 22-20. Russia libero played spectacular defence to help Muserskiy run an tricky attack and score the final point of the second set for Russia 25-21.
The tall Russian middle blocker also showed his best skills in the third set, causing trouble on the Iranian defence. Kovac brought in some fresh energy in the court to swing the tempo to their side, but the substitutions did not help as Russia continued with good rhythm and moved ahead quickly with a 9-4 advantage. Artem Volvich’s float serve proved to be too difficult for Iran libero Farhad Zarif that pushed the score further up 12-7 for Russia. Iran could no longer dismount the big lead of the Russians and struggled with a series of errors to allow the Russians to take the set and match 25-18 for a fifth place finish.