Serbian international Petar Krsmanovic put on a fantastic performance against Russian champions Lokomotiv Novosibirsk as Kuzbass Kemerovo extended their winning streak to four matches and topped the current standings in the Superliga.
The 2.05m-tall middle blocker stunned his opponents with six kill blocks, one ace and an amazing 90% success rate in attack to tally a total of 16 points and become the best scorer of the fourth-leg home match in which Kuzbass delivered a 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-17) shutout of Lokomotiv.
Krsmanovic’s cross-court teammate, experienced 35-year-old Russian middle Mikhail Shcherbakov, added another four stuffs to Kuzbass’s tally to top the current ranking of the best blockers of the season on a total of 14 stuffs, or 1.40 per set.
To add to Kuzbass’ great blocking performance against the champions, Russian international Alexander Markin killed five of the opponents’ spikes towards a team total of 16 blocking points in the match.
“This was a very important victory for us! In my opinion, this was our best game since the start of the championship. Thanks to all the fans that came to give us their support! We look forward to our next match at Zenit Kazan, and we will fight,” Krsmanovic said.
After also winning all eight of their games in the first stage of the Russia Cup, Kuzbass Kemerovo are now on an impressive run of 12 consecutive victories in all official matches since the start of the season. In fact, their last defeat was recorded on March 4 in a CEV Champions League first-leg quarterfinal. After that, and before the 2019-2020 season was prematurely interrupted by the pandemic, Kuzbass registered one win in the return Champions League match and two more wins in the Superliga, which brings their cross-season victorious streak to a total of 15 official games.
On a 4-0 win-loss record, 12 points and a 12-2 set ratio, Kuzbass are ahead of the other two unbeaten teams – Zenit Kazan (4-0, 10 points, 12-5 sets) and Dinamo Moscow (3-0, 9 points, 9-0 sets) – in the current Superliga standings. Yenisei Krasnoyarsk and Zenit Saint Petersburg, each on a 3-1 win-loss record, come next down the table. Defending champs Lokomotiv stand sixth on 2-2.
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