Zenit routs Dinamo in straight sets to make first step towards final four
2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men
Kazan, Russia, February 6, 2013. On Wednesday Zenit KAZAN downed their compatriots of Dinamo MOSCOW in straight sets (25-19, 25-22, and 25-18) to claim the first round of the Playoffs 6 and the 2012 winners of Europe’s most elitist competition have got their eyes set on the final four that is scheduled for March 16-17 in Omsk, Russia. However, they still need to score an away win next week in Moscow in order to play Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK in the much anticipated Russian derby coming up in the semis.
Zenit KAZAN broke away right after the first technical time-out of the opening set with their star Maxim Mikhaylov hitting a series of terrific spikes and serves. On the other side of the net, the real hero in Dinamo’s victory over the four-time club world champions of TRENTINO Diatec, i.e. Pavel Kruglov, was regularly blocked by the Tatars and could not finalize most of his attacks. By the score of 12:7 for the hosts, Dinamo head coach Yuri Cherednik went for some substitutions but it did not change the course of the game as US-American middle blocker David Lee paced Zenit offense and the opening set was cashed quite comfortably with the score of 25-19.
After a very difficult start for the guests from Russia’s capital city, the fate of the second set looked pre-determined quite early; Alexander Abrosimov did shake Dinamo backline with his great serving (7:2) and after that Zenit regularly blocked their opponents to wrap it up at 25-22.
Things did not change much in the third set where the players of Zenit KAZAN looked determined to pocket a straight-set win. They eventually did so as they were paced – once more – by Mikhailov and while the Muscovites looked physically exhausted – they had come to Kazan at 4 am – the hosts could comfortably cruise to a well-deserved 3:0 (25-18).
“Last weekend we lost 2:3 to Dinamo KRASNODAR in the national league and that lesson was very useful. My players looked really concentrated and focused tonight as they knew they could not underestimate the importance of this first clash with Dinamo. However, this is just a first step on the way to Omsk as everything will be decided next week in Moscow” said Zenit mentor Vladimir Alekno.
“We came to Kazan only this morning at 4 am but this is not an excuse for us” stresses Dinamo head coach Yuri Cherednik. “There were some good actions and long rallies, but overall we did not find our way into the game. We do realize how powerful and strong Zenit KAZAN is but we feel no pressure heading into the return game coming up next week in Moscow. We will fight until the end”.
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