Russia towered over Iran in straight sets in the first round of the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup at Hamamatsu Arena on Sunday
Muserskiy tallied 20 points, including 16 kills, one block and three aces; and Maxim Mikhaylov added 10 more points for the great Russian triumph. Iran’s Amir Ghafour and Mojtaba Mirzajanpour finished the match with 12 points each. Iran suffered with 27 turnovers that allowed Russia to build a good lead in crucial moments of the match.
Iran were off to a quick start by converting their shots from both wings, with Mir Saeid Marouflakrani getting his hitters involved this early on offence. Iran were up 8-5 at the first technical timeout but Russia regrouped and tied the score at 9-all. Iran were rewarded with a 12-10 lead as they played excellent floor and net defence. In the late stages of the set, Russia tirelessly challenged the Asian side and succeeded in finding the hole in the Iranian defence. Russia claimed the first set victory 26-24 from an Iranian service error and a Muserskiy attack.
The Russian offence flourished in the second set as Muserskiy and Mikhaylov fired bullet spikes from the wings but their rivals later on plugged the hole on the Russian hitters’ cross-court spikes that allowed for an Iranian comeback. After a series of deadlocks, the Russians benefitted from the Iranian errors that logged a 22-16 lead. Russia pulled through in the second set 25-18 off Iran’s two consecutive errors. Iran started off strong in the third set but the Russians played with great tempo to rally past them late in the set 25-20.