Russian Cup this weekend in Moscow:
The four best teams of the season made it to the final four (technically Leningradka fifth behind Kaliningrad but Kaliningrad was not that strong in recent weeks...).
The semis are Krasnodar vs Kazan and Leningradka vs Moscow. A few thoughts on the teams (if no players are absent):
Kazan: Won the Cup last season and favorite this year. Won 3:0 against Krasnodar and Leningradka, lost 2:3 against Moscow (without Startseva and Fedorovtseva). Their poor performance in CL showed that they are not at their best yet but still the team to beat.
Moscow: Leader of the league. Lost the final last year. Had to play five sets against the other three teams in the league (lost agains Krasnodar after being 2:0 ahead, won against Leningradka thanks to Klimets/Babeshina). They are better than in the last few years and have a good chance to win the Cup.
Krasnodar: Strongest team in years with the best substitutes in the league (for every position except the OPP they have a sub who is almost as good as the starter). Kazan is probably too strong for them unless they serve really well.
Leningradka: Very experienced players (hardly any player is younger than 28). Setter Neponmyashchikh is doing much better than in previous seasons. I don't think that they can manage another suprise like in the qualification (clear win in Kaliningrad) unless Moscow is having a really bad day.