Second-placed Kuzbass Kemerovo delivered a straight-set victory over table leaders Zenit Kazan to please the home crowd in the stands at the Kuzbass Arena and heat up the race at the top end of the standings in Russia’s men’s Superliga.
Italian star Ivan Zaytsev produced the match high of 24 points towards Kuzbass’s 3-0 (29-27, 25-23, 25-19) home victory over Zenit. His tally included 22 spiking points at an impressive 81% success rate in attack and brought his season total to 258 points, placing him fourth in the current scorers ranking, behind Ugra-Samotlor Nizhnevartovsk’s Vitaly Papazov (298 points), Zenit Kazan’s Maxim Mikhaylov (268) and Fakel Novy Urengoy’s Dmitry Volkov (260).
Experienced middle Mikhail Shcherbakov added another four stuffs for Kuzbass, to up his season total to 50 blocking points and to top the league's stats.
Zenit Kazan continue to lead the current Superliga standings on a 13-4 win-loss record. However, all three teams in the next three spots in the table have played fewer games and hold excellent chances of catching up. Kuzbass are second on 12-3. Zenit Saint Petersburg come next on 11-4, while the recent Russia Cup winners, fourth-placed Dinamo Moscow, have lost only one of 12 matches played.
In another Superliga game played on Sunday, Ukrainian international opposite Dmytro Viietskyi hammered out a fantastic 35 points, registering two aces, a block and 55% success rate in attack, towards ASK Nizhny Novgorod’s 3-1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21) victory at Yenisei Krasnoyarsk. His teammate, Russian outside Ivan Valeev, piled up five blocks towards a match total of 16 points.
The win improved 11th-placed ASK’s record to 4-10.
Main photo: kuzbass-volley.ru
More volleyball from Russia:
Loko win 84-point set at Kazan