Posts by ignorans

    Tomorrow we have:

    Uralochka-Kazan and Moscow-Kaliningrad.

    Moscow with only 1 win so far. Lokomotiv lost against Kazan.

    Uralochka was struggling last match even before they lost Klimets. Then again Marichev's Proton is the positive surprise of the league so far. Kazan's first team is unbeaten so far...

    There were two surprises in the first round. Kazan's youngsters (oldest was 18, youngest player 14) won a point in Sakhalin. Sakhalins OPP were pretty bad. Only Samoylova (did well on serve) in combination with Sinitsyna as setter worked ok (4th and 5th set). The even bigger surprise was the victory of Proton. They didn't win a single match in the qualification last season! Thanks to Goncharova (didn't play the first two sets, Carlini not with the team) Dinamo came back 2:0 down but was unable to win... Havelkova had some troubles in reception, Stolyarova not very effective. Good game from Shcherban.

    Good start from Krasnodar except for the end of the 2nd set. They didn't win a point leading 23:17!

    Tomorrow we have two interesting matches: Moscow-Uralochka, Lokomotiv-Kazan. The home teams are imho favourite.

    In a couple of hours the Russian league will start.

    Some of my thought to the teams on paper:

    Moscow: Better OH options than last season. Krotkova should be the starting Russian OH (youngest) but she is back from injury. Shcherban and Rusakova are more experienced but had a disappointing last season. Top favourite to win the league.

    Lokomotiv: Kurilo for Kutyukova and Iurinskaya for Savonova. Should be on the same level as last season (top 3). I hope Shevchuk, Iurinskaya and Brovkina will get to play against weaker teams.

    Uralochka: Pilipenko for Malova, Anisova for Garelik. Will be difficult to get 3rd place. Unfortunately Burkova won't be able to show her skills because Romanova is staying and Salikova joined the team.

    Kazan: Added two good foreigners and Malova, "lost" Malygina and Bavykina. Setter position might be a problem (don't know who is second setter since Romanova apparently stayed in Ekaterinburg). Top 3 shouldn't be a problem if Startseva shows a decent form and Kadochkina is healthy.

    Yenisey: Some changes on OPP/OH. I think they will not be as strong as last season.

    Zarechye: Russu and Vorobyeva have to step up this season. Young team that might struggle this season.

    Krasnodar: Lazareva, Lazarenko, Rimma Goncharova and Bessonaya are new. Perepelkina was one of the best blocker last season but the MB position is looking good this season too. Reception might be a problem as it was last season. Should do better than last season. Sperskaite/Pipunyrova as starting OH would be nice.

    Leningradka: A lot of changes in this team. The setter position is not that strong. Good OH's, MB's and Garelik should make a strong OPP. Should do considerably better than last season.

    Sakhalin: Several new players. A lot of them can play on a good level, nobody is top. Good sub options no clear starters in most positions. Team looks stronger than last season. Time for Novik to show what she can.

    Minchanka: Had a really poor season. Grichkevich is a big loss. I do not expect a lot from the team but maybe they can surprise this season.

    Dinamo-Metar: Better setter, lost Pilipenko. A lot of young players. Trying to win more games than last season (2).

    Proton: Not as young as Dinamo-Metar. Several changes. Not sure they will do much better than last season.

    Some remarks to last weeks cup matches:

    Lokomotiv-Krasnodar had two remarkable occurences. After the first few points the lights went out for several minutes. Krasnodar was ahead 14:8 in the tie-break and lost. Bessonaya looked very tired in the 5th set.

    Lokomotiv was overall a bit disappointing. Even without Voronkova and Galkina (Brovkina is sub) they should not lose two sets to Krasnodar and Minchanka.

    Uralochka looked worse. Ok they missed Parubets, Pilipenko and Safonova but they only won 3:2 agains Cherepovets...

    :offtopic:Shepeleva (Cherepovets) might be the cutest (non-turkish) libero...

    I think Russia should hire Voronkov as head coach coming into next year. It would be a good decision since he is heading Lokomotiv which got the runner up finish last year second only to Moscow.

    I think Voronkov did okay last season but they ended up where they were expected. Kazan weaker last season because they had several changes in the team, some injuries and (almost) no foreigners. Uralochka did better than expected but just hasn't got enough money (no options when a starting player has a bad day). Dinamo Moscow played without Krotkova and Shcherban in mediocre form but only lost 2 sets in 3 games against Lokomotiv. What I am saying is that Voronkov might be a good choice but you shouldn't base that on Lokomotiv's performance last season.

    Russia's team is more or less the Dinamo Kazan youth team (some substitutes are from other teams). I haven't seen much but i did not look that convincing. The MB's are the top scorers so far (Kochurina more than 13 pts. per game) but the percentages do not look so good. IMHO the accuracy and coordination on court should be better considering that the players play in the same club.

    IMHO Russia has to play with the best team in Japan assuming you get points for the FIVB World Ranking. After disappointing results in the last two years the really need the points and it would also help psychologically (top 4 should be the goal). I would like to see a third setter (Startseva showed a bad form at the ECh and Romanova was not that good either). I would also like to see other substitute players. There should be an additional OH player besides Kurilo (Kotikova?) and I would like to see Vorobyeva in the team (OPP or OH). I did not understand why Lazareva and Khaletskaya were both in the ECh team. IMHO the NT team should primarily use players who play regularly in their clubs therefore Lazareva has no place in the team (would be different if she were still young like Kadochkina...).

    If not this year, Kadochkina needs to be in the Senior Team next year. She is already a starter In Kazan, I don't see the value of her participating in these age-tournaments to be honest. Russia NT needs another OH who can terminate, as Parubets-Voronkova is not stable in attack as what was shown in Olympic qualifiers.. This problem will become even more apparent in ECH. Kadochkina should take the role of Kosheleva in NT with hopefully better reception as she is young and can still improve

    I'm not sure if Kadochkina will be a starter next season in Kazan. They have De la Cruz and Kotikova on OH and Fabris on OPP. I think it is important that she get's enough time to rest and recover since she is still really young. The worst thing that could happen would be to lose the most important young Russian player to injuries.

    I was surprised (almost shocked) by the form of several players. They had two months to prepare for the most important game of the NT season and they were not (especially compared to Korea). I have no problem with them skipping the VNL but they should have been level. The problem seems to be the coaching staff. I like that Pankov tends to use young players who play in their clubs, but I am not sure if he is the right man to help improve players. Zarechie did not seem improved last season even though the played almost with the same team as the year before. Iurinskaya, Russu and Vorobyeva were in my opinion not able to make a step forward. I think it would be good if he would step down as NT coach, but the options in Russia are not great and I doubt that the Russian federation will hire a foreigner...

    Group A

    Serbia - Thailand 3-0

    Poland - Puerto Rico 3-0

    Serbia - Puerto Rico 3-0

    Thailand - Poland 1-3

    Puerto Rico - Thailand 0-3

    Serbia - Poland 3-1

    Group B

    China - Czech Republic 3-0

    Turkey - Germany 3-1

    Germany - Czech Republic 3-0

    China - Turkey 3-2

    Czech Republic - Turkey 0-3

    China - Germany 3-1

    Group C

    Argentina - Bulgaria 1-3

    USA - Kazakhstan 3-0

    USA - Bulgaria 3-1

    Kazakhstan - Argentina 1-3

    USA - Argentina 3-0

    Kazakhstan - Bulgaria 0-3

    Group D

    Brazil - Cameroon 3-0

    Dominican Republic - Azerbaijan 2-3

    Brazil - Azerbaijan 3-1

    Cameroon - Dominican Republic 0-3

    Brazil - Dominican Republic 3-1

    Azerbaijan - Cameroon 3-0

    Group E

    South Korea - Canada 3-0

    Russia - Mexico 3-0

    South Korea - Mexico 3-0

    Russia - Canada 3-0

    Mexico - Canada 2-3

    Russia - South Korea 3-1

    Group F

    Belgium - Netherlands 1-3

    Italy - Kenya 3-0

    Netherlands - Kenya 3-0

    Belgium - Italy 1-3

    Kenya - Belgium 0-3

    Netherlands - Italy 1-3

    I really don't want to spout it again but Pankov's statement was like that, Lokomotiv Kaliningrad should allow Brovkina and Shevchuk to play in another club as the main players.

    I agree with this statement. At least Brovkina should have a decent shot at the second MB spot since I don't think that Zaitseva and Podskalnaya are much better than her. The situation for Shevchuk is much worse competing with Kurilo and Iurinskaya for one OH spot...

    The situation for Pipunyrova is very promising in Krasnodar. Neither Bessonaya nor Sperskaite (hope she will be better than last season) are consistent in reception.