Toyama, Japan, September 16, 2015 – Russia triumphed in straight-sets (26-24, 25-16, 25-18) against Australia, to register their fifth win in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup at the Toyama City Gymnasium on Wednesday.
Artem Volvich was named Most Impressive Player, charting 10 points when it mattered most for Russia. Maxim Mikhaylov bested all scorers with 16 points including 11 attacks, three serves and two blocks.
Australia kept within Russia’s pace in the opening set as Max Staples braved the taller Russian frontline with well-timed attacks.
After the scoreboard read 13-13, it was Russia’s turn to dominate. Sergey Tetyukhin and Alexander Butko scored off blocks, while Mikhaylov took charge of the attacks.
Australia inched their way towards setpoint with persistence in reception but Russia quickly fought their way back to win the first set, 26-24.
After enjoying a slim 8-7 advantage at the first technical timeout of the second set, Australia got served with some powerful aces. Volvich scored off three serves in a row to help propel Russia into the lead.
Russia enjoyed the advantage of a quicker, more flexible offence, with the luxury of running combinations at times. Apart from that, there was always the option to set up Dmitriy Muserskiy for an attack. A block by Mikhaylov closed the second set, 25-16.
Australia’s frailty in passing the ball became more evident in the third set, while Russia found themselves with a comfortable lead (16-10) by the second technical timeout.
Coach Vladimir Alekno started to utilise the bench, enabling Alexey Spiridonov to score in the closing plays. Russia sealed the third set at 25-18.