Russia overpowered Venezuela in straight sets in the first round of the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup at the Hamamatsu Arena on Tuesday
Russia were led by Maxim Mikhaylov and Dmitriy Ilinykh, who finished with 12 points each. Mikhaylov and Ilinykh combined five of Russia’s eight service aces in the match. After an excellent first set, Venezuela’s Fernando Gonzalez and Kervin Pinerua were held to score only nine points each.
Russia barely got out of the scuffle after Venezuela put up a strong challenge against them in the first set. The South Americans led comfortably in the early stages of the set but the Russians bounced back with the help of Maxim Mikhaylov’s excellent serves that gave them the lead 21-20. Venezuela tried to keep up but Russia’s power plays prevailed to end the set 27-25.
Russia started better in the second set as Dmitriy Muserskiy and Dmitriy Ilinykh got involved in their scoring to gain a 21-13 edge. The Venezuelan hitters were somehow overwhelmed at the net by the tall Russian defenders, who forced them to hit on difficult angles. Russia were rewarded with a point to end the second set 25-16 on a Venezuelan attack error. After building a big lead, Russia coach Vladimir Alekno gave his starters some breather and fielded in the other players to complete their third set victory 25-15.