Dmitriy Muserskiy scored six of Russia's 17 aces in their match against Bulgaria at the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship
Gdansk, Poland, September 7, 2014 – Russia fought back from a two-set deficit to complete a sweep of the first round, defeating Bulgaria 3-2 (20-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-11) in Pool C of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship at the Ergo Arena on Sunday.
• Russia are in pole position in Pool C as they recovered gracefully after the first and second frame setbacks to keep their win-record unblemished.
• Russia will move to Wroclaw, while Bulgaria will play in Katowice for the second round.
• Russia slammed 17 aces, six points coming from Dmitriy Muserskiy.
• Muserskiy’s all-round game aided the Russians in their comeback; he scored 11 kills, six blocks and six aces for his 23-point total output.
Almost 11,000 people gathered in the arena to enjoy the final match of Pool C that saw an undefeated Russian team being heavily challenged by Bulgaria. The great support from the Polish fans was key motivation for Bulgaria, to make consecutive upsets in the first and second frames.
Todor Skrimov and Tsvetan Sokolov caused damage to the Russian defence as the two Bulgarians smashed their opponents’ drive in the first two sets.
Dmitriy Ilinykh showed a breathtaking display on the serve in the opening part but Bulgaria’s intense focus kept them to stay close as Sokolov exploded on the attack to settle the deadlock at 6-all. Both teams exchanged powerful serves that kept a tight score until Bulgarian Viktor Yosifov caught an injury that halted play at 11-9 with Bulgaria on the lead.
Muserskiy then started to heat up on offence and served mightily to tie the score at 14-all. Then Danail Milushev answered with an ace for Bulgaria to build an 18-15 lead, then Penchev hit another ace to give Bulgaria the first set ball 24-19. Todor Skrimov finished the set with a powerful spike 25-20.
Russia started aggressively in the second set with a 6-2 lead. The lead was later on wiped out as Skrimov and Sokolov combined forces to tie the score at 6-all, then Muserskiy responded with two service aces and a Russian attack for a 9-6 lead for Russia.
With the entry of Todor Aleksiev, the captain scored two points that prompted the Bulgarians to make a run. Muserskiy somehow managed to switch on the right buttons to bring Russia back and tie the score at 18-all. When Sokolov stepped up for Bulgaria, the team coasted to the end of the set 25-23.
Russia came back in the next three sets with more organised offence and defence, manned by Dmitriy Muserskiy and Dmitriy Ilinykh. Bulgaria lost steam and allowed the other side to build their lead and move for the eventual takeover. Russia built a lead as Ilinykh and Muserskiy teamed-up in scoring to hop into a 13-7 advantage. They extended the gap further at 18-9 but Bulgaria still coped to bridge the gap but eventually ran out of time as Russia seized the end of the set 25-20.
Nikolay Pavlov helped Muserskiy run the Russian offence in the fourth set but a see-saw encounter ensued. However the Russians still prevailed 25-23 to force a tiebreaker set. The Russian lead in the tiebreaker dilated but the Bulgarians responded well to close the gap. Some defensive gems by the Russian frontline triggered for a complete seizure of the fifth set 15-11.