Posts by ignorans

    (Most of) round seven this weekend...

    Loko is back and will play Krasnodar. They only have one win so far (out of three games), Krasnodar had their first defeat (out of six games) against Kazan

    last week.

    The other interesting match is Uralochka - Proton . Uralochka has only two wins so far and was dominated by Moscow last week. I think they are still missing some injured players like setter Sorokina. Proton lost 2:3 to Kazan but won the other four games.

    Sixth round today. Now three teams out because of COVID-19 (Loko, Odintsova, Dinamo Metar)...

    Leningradka and Krasnodar still unbeaten but they did not play a top club so far. Uralochka - Moscow should is the top match. Krasnodar might have a chance to win points in Kazan as long as Popova is the setter...

    As exptected Kazan was struggling without Startseva. Would've like to see more of Kotikova. I know that she is not as good in attack as the other players but she was the best receiver.

    Kosheleva was watching the game in Tula. She was probably whishing that there were more teams like Proton (2 player receiption)...

    Dinamo Metar won against Zarechie. That was only the second win in 14 matches against them.

    Next round starts today. Apparently Minchaka is allowed to play again...

    Proton - Kazan is the top match. Proton is unbeaten but played the new teams and Dinamo Metar so far. Their libero has to do better than last weekend (was replaced after a poor performance. Her 16 y.o. replacement Doronicheva did well.).

    Fourth round is tomorrow minus teams in quarantine (Minsk and Loko so far...).

    There were several starting players missing last week: Romanova, Voronkova (apparently injured) and four Krasnodar players (Sperskaite, Sukhoverkhova, Zubareva and Lazareva). Krasnodar had only three substitutes (MB, OPP and a libero turned OH). 20 y.o. Zvereva made her debut since Sperkaite and her replacement (Sukhoverkhova) were absent (at least as far as I know). She did really well (best receiver of the team and solid in reception. Then again the opponent (Dinamo Metar) was pretty terrible. Andrea Rangel made her debut and probably wondered why she chose Chelyabinsk...

    Looking at the stats of Lipetsk I noticed the huge load of work for Sazonova. She gets to receive most services (almost 75 % last week) and also gets the most balls in attack (more than 40 % of all attacks in last match).

    Top match is Kazan - Moscow. Both teams unbeaten so far.

    Third round today (Tulitsa - Uralochka tomorrow, Minsk still in quarantine)

    Krasnodar hasn't lost a set (weak opponents so far...) and should stay in first place after the match in Chelyabinsk.

    Loko plays in Kazan. The top two teams of the last two seasons are not in top form so far. Kazan is missing some players (Podkopaeva, Rakhmatullina and Fedorovtseva were not in Ekaterinburg) and they had to play with Kotikova as libero (decent performance). Loko lost at home (1-3) against Sparta last Wednesday. Galkina with some troubles in reception, Voronkova (odd to see her with long hair) with only 27 % in attack and an overall mediocre performance of most players (Evdokimova on the other hand with a great performance in service, block and attack) lead to the defeat. I wonder wether Biryukova or Kadochkina will start for Kazan. Kadochkina came in early in Ekaterinburg after Biryukova had a fall (seemed to be fine later on) and showed a great performance in attack (55 %).

    Great start from Lipetsk who won in Ekaterinburg after being two sets down. They showed great defense and fight. Not a good performance from Uralochka. Starting setter Kondrashova was replaced after just 7 points (at 3:4, also early in the third and forth set). Second setter did not do better...

    Voronkova was not playing but with the team (minor injury?). Kotikova had to play libero (I have no information why Podkapaeva was absent).

    Second round is today. Moscow and Minsk will play their games in December (CL matche for Moscow, quarantine for Minsk).

    Lipetsk is playing in Saratov. Will they be able to achieve another surprise?

    Uralochka - Kazan is the top match of the round with Kazan the clear favourite. But the only Kazan loss (0:3) last season was in Ekaterinburg (ignoring the loss in Sakhalin because it was not the first team).

    The season starts today. The first round looks rather boring. The top teams play against weak opponents (Eniey and newcomers). Proton (Dinamo Metar) and Odintsovo (Leningradka) get the chance to take revenge for the loss in the cup.

    The loss of Sakhalin and the addition of three new teams should make the league weaker. The four top teams should have a lot of easy games. I hope they use it to give the substitute players some playtime. Some thoughts on the teams:

    Kazan: They dominated last season and are stronger this season. Bricio replaced De La Cruz and Konovalova joind the team. Kotikova and Kadochkina seem to healthy again. They should get one of the two fix spots in the final six (unless Startseva gets injured).

    Lokomotiv: They did not replace Cleger but added Vorobyeva (Shevchuk left). Evdokomova and Melnikova replaced Orlova and Brovkina. Dijkema is the new setter. Without their best scorer from last season (Ezhak will probably play OPP) they seem to be a bit weaker. The have the option to add a foreigner before the playoffs.

    Uralochka: Romanova, Evdokimova, Enina and Klimets left. MB position looks a bit weaker (Safonova is third MB...). Still a top four team.

    Moscow: They added Romanova, Klimets, Kuznetsova, Natalia, Orlova, Enina and Bibina and lost no essential player. This should make them stronger than last season which they already showed in the Cup (3-1 win against Loko). I don't think Orlova was necessary. The addition of two OPP seems odd. Maybe Goncharova will play mainly in big matches. With only one foreigner they have the option to add a player later in the season. Probably an OH since they only have three (I don't consider Kuznetsova an OH because of her reception skills). Top favorite for the second fix spot in the finals.

    Proton: Russu replaced Martiniuc. Setters are still a potential problem. They had a great season. Playoffs shouldn't be a problem.

    Krasnodar: Only one big change (Vetrova) and a small one (Sukhoverkhova for Korenchuk). Hopefully Vetrova will help them to get the stability they lacked the last few seasons. The have the potential to make the final six.

    Leningradka: Team looks similar to the one last year (Sokolchyk, Stolyarova and Rusakova for Kuznetsova, Samadova, Frolova, Markova). Should be somewhere in the middle of the table and have a good chance on making the playoffs.

    Odintsovo: All starting players left. Mainly young players plus Korenchuk and Dumcheva. I am happy that Matveeva is starting but expect the team to have some problems (0-3 against Leningradka in Cup). Might get one of the last playoff places.

    Minchanka: They were disappointing the last few seasons and I don't expect them to do much better this season. They had close matches against the newcomers in the Cup.

    Dinamo Metar: Strongest team in years. Unfortunately Pirogovskaya got injured in a Cup match. They should reach the playoffs this season.

    Enisey, Lipetsk, Tulitsa, Sparta: I do not really know that much about them. Sparta's setters were injured last week which makes the season start very difficult for them. Tulitsa added Olga Frolova and Malygina which might make them the strongest new team. I expect most of these teams to be at the bottom of the table.

    Uralochka 2 made it to the next round in the Russian Cup thanks to a 3-0 against Uralochka 1 (they didn't even try...). Sakhalin who beat Uralochka 2 (3-1) would have gotten the place in the next round otherwise...

    D. Moscow, Lokomotiv, Leningradka, Odintsovo, Uralochka, Uralochka 2, Dinamo Metar, Kazan, Krasnodar, Proton, Tulitsa and Lipetsk qualified for the semis. I don't know why four teams from zone 1 qualified and only two teams from zone 4 (out of five). Maybe it has something to do with the finals (in Moscow?).

    Dinamo Moscow and Kazan seem to be in good shape. Enisey, Odintsovo and Sparta (troubled by injuries) not so much.

    Russian Cup starts this week (08. - 13. September)

    There are four groups of which the best three make it to the semis (unless they changed it to best two).

    1: Lokomotiv, Moskow, Leningradka, Odintsovo, Luch

    2: Uralochka, Dinamo Metar, Enisey, Uralochka 2, Sakhanlin, Tyumen

    3: Kazan, Proton, Krasnodar, Ufa, Severyanka, Volgodonsk

    4: Minsk, Sparta, Lipetsk, Tulitsa, Kursk

    Some thoughts after the Governor's Cup:

    No team was playing with the best formation (Startseva, Goncharova, Fabris not there; NT players played some matches with their clubs too) so that Uralochka and Kazan only had a small number of players for some positions ( libero, which did not matter that much; Akimova as, usually an OH, had to play MB, Safonova was MB sub). Russia and Kazan made a lot of changes and used almost all players.

    Setters: Except for Russia (Romanova) all teams had new setters (Popova hardly played last season). Matveeva made a pretty good debut in the NT (played with the reserves in VNL last season). Popova who had to play all Kazan matches was struggling much more. Kondrashova had some problems but was over all pretty solid.

    OPP: The NT did not find a decent replacement for Goncharova. Smirnova had a great game against the NT (17/34, 50 %) but not as good in the other two matches. Fedorovtseva (23 pts agains NT) and Kadochkina had to deal with a struggling setter but did pretty good.

    Kosheleva: I don't think that the NT needs her. I think Kurilo is a more reliable player at the moment.

    Even though the NT lost all three games the future doesn't look so bad. Kadochkina (16), Fedorovtseva (17) and Matveeva (18) are very promising players who are already playing at a good level.

    Marina Dibrova (RUS-OH) to Büyükçekmece Voleybol(Turkish Division2) Was she good in Russian leauge? Their coach is Inessa Korkmaz(ex Russian NT and Aze NT player).

    She did not play last season. I thought she quit playing... Was not convincing in Sakhalin and Odintsovo. Her reception is not good.

    Are they going to hire another foreigner OH or setter?

    Moscow certainly needs another setter. They have Babeshina so far... The OH position looks better with Natalia, Krotkova and Shcherban (Kuznetsova might also be an option but her receptioin is not good). They have 3 OPP (Goncharova, Klimets, Kuznetsova)...