Brno, Czech Republic, June 29, 2017 – A tremendous effort by middle blocker Alexei Kononov
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.