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Kononov takes Russia to the top

 
Brno, Czech Republic, June 29, 2017 – A tremendous effort by middle blocker Alexei Kononov helped Russia pull off a tight 3-2 (25-20, 21-25, 30-28, 19-25, 17-15) win against Brazil to top the final standings in Pool F on the way to a semifinal encounter with Cuba at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.


Kononov piled up seven kill blocks for a total of 23 points in the match. Brazil’s substitute opposite Davy Silva Moraes, however, was the top scorer of this clash with 25 points.

More efficient with the attacks through the middle, especially those with Kononov, Russia managed a 25-20 win in the first set. With sub-in Davy on fire in the second set and many mistakes on the Russian side, Brazil tied the match after 25-21. Kononov spiked away again in the third set to contribute seven points to the tough-battled 30-28 close. Another Brazilian substitute took charge in the fourth set. With three kill blocks and perfect in offence, Lucas Adriano Araujo Barreto scored seven points towards a 25-19 win to set the stage for a tie-breaker. As if this match was not already dramatic enough, the fifth set also had to go into extra time. After climbing back up from a three-point deficit, the Russians wasted a double match point at 14-12 before Aleksandr Melnikov finally closed the match at 17-15 with a powerful kill block.

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