Russian teams gear up for start of 2014 season at Volley Grad
2014 CEV Beach Volleyball Satellite - Anapa
Anapa, Russia, January 15, 2014. Volley Grad – i.e. the Volleyball campus of the Russian Volleyball Federation – is well ready to host the opening tournament of a very busy 2014 Beach Volleyball season. The CEV indoor Satellite will get underway on Wednesday with the Country Quota matches and continue all the way through the finals scheduled for Sunday, January 19.
Even though Anapa is one of the southernmost cities in Russia, during the winter season temperatures exceed 10 °C quite rarely since a cold breeze is blowing from the sea. However, the people living in Anapa and in the nearby village of Vityazevo will have the opportunity to follow the actions of some world-class Beach Volleyball players even by this time of the year as they are set to compete at the Volley Grad for the 2014 season’s opener.
Right since its early days Volley Grad was conceived as a place where the Russian national teams – including Beach Volleyball players – would have the possibility to train all year round and the campus was also set to become the venue of major international competitions.
This project has ultimately turned into reality and last year Volley Grad played host to the final stage of the Russian Beach Volleyball Championship for the fourth consecutive year while the inaugural FIVB Open held in late July turned into a huge success and a second edition is already scheduled for May 2014. As for the CEV indoor Satellite, a similar tournament was already organised in 2011 and this year’s event is a part of a strategy whose goal is to make Volley Grad the real “hub” for Beach Volleyball in Russia.
The players of the Russian national team have been preparing for the start of the 2014 season at Volley Grad. The men’s pairs resumed training on January 10 under the guidance of their coach Vyacheslav Nirka. The women started two days later once more with the help of their Italian-born mentor Marco Solustri. The camp will continue until January 26 so the CEV indoor Satellite that will get underway on Wednesday is part of that first step into the 2014 season.
However, some top players are missing. Anastasia Vasina recently gave birth to her first child, while Anna Vozakova and Ekaterina Khomyakova are expecting a baby. Vasina and Vozakova are the winners of the 2011 CEV Satellite in Anapa where they beat Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Syrtseva in the final match. Due to Khomyakova’s pregnancy, Ukolova had to find a different partner and she eventually teamed up with Maria Prokopeva (Bratkova), with whom she already played from 2006 through 2009.
Viacheslav Krasilnikov (see picture) composes a very promising duo together with Russian Beach Volleyball star Konstantin Semenov. Last year they debuted at the Berlin Grand Slam making the final and losing there only to Brazil’s Vitor Felipe/Evandro. They also won the final stage of the EEVZA Beach Volleyball Tour in Moscow but had to miss on the last event of the 2013 season – the FIVB Open in Durban – due to a knee injury sustained by Krasilnikov.
The 22-year old Krasilnikov recently underwent surgery but the Russian coaches feel like this pair may go for very good results this season. Semenov and Krasilnikov first will test their shape at the CEV indoor Satellite in Anapa where they top the entry lists followed by compatriots Yaroslav Koshkarev and Ruslan Bykanov.
Click here for more information on the CEV indoor Satellite in Anapa