Victory in the Slavic derby
Date: 22 December 2021, 22:13
Source: Press service Dinamo-Ak Bars
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Victory in the Slavic derby
In the home match of the third tour of the Champions League group stage, Dinamo-AkBars defeated the Bulgarian Maritza in three sets 
The New Year is not far off. But before celebrating, the Kazan team was to play several important games – the Russian Cup Final Four and an international match in the third tour of the Champions League. In the latter, Dinamo-AkBars faced Maritza, a Bulgarian seven-time champion. It was very important to divide the physical and moral powers between these two events.
Actually, the Kazaners once met with Maritza in the 2017/2018 season and were then twice as effective 3:0 and 3:1. By the way, the Bulgarians Ivelina Monova, Simona Dimitrova and Aleksandra Milanova, who participated in those matches, took part in today’s match. Dinamo-AkBars’s captain Irina Koroleva, the only player left in the Kazan team since those times, first remained in reserve but then took the floor too.
1st set. This time the Kazaners met the guests on the move with a series of tough blocks – 5:1. After that, the Bulgarians got rather nervous and started making numerous mistakes in attacks and serves – 15:7. In the ending, the hosts additionally pressed their rivals by reinforced serves – 21:9. Fabris, Bricio, and Lazarenko were marked for their aces. As a result, the first set was won by Dinamo-AkBars with almost a double advantage.
2nd set. However, such easy sets are usually very deceitful in women’s volleyball. Here as well, the relaxed hosts made mistakes and let the guests gain the score – 2:4. After that, the Bulgarians got inspired and warmed up – 7:10. Maritza’s attacks were also reinforced by a series of substitutions carried out before this set. As a result, the fight went on equal terms almost up to the ending – 21:20. Only the timely serve by Kazan Mexican Samantha Bricio Ramos with her heavy-duty crosses allowed the hosts to make a final spurt – 24:20. Dinamo-AkBars’s opposite Samanta Fabris finalized the second set with a well-placed shot.
3rd set. The guests apparently worked up an appetite for struggle and took the offensive again after the break – 5:6. But the Kazaners too managed to concentrate and blocked the Bulgarian attack – 12:8. However, this set did not offer a laugher either – 17:16 after the ace by Dima Usheva. But soon Ekaterina Lazareva came out to serve or the hosts, defeating the rivals from the reception. After that, the attacks of the Bulgarians were successfully blocked again – 22:17. Then the Russians quickly led the match to victory. A Dinamo-AkBars’s opposite Samanta Fabris, the point of the match, was selected the MVP.
Sergey Sikachev, assistant coach of Dinamo-Ak Bars KAZAN: “In the first set the guests were, probably, too nervous. Also, we offered aggressive serves. But after easy matches such failures are common. However, we managed to concentrate and played well, actually. The players have followed the coach’s directions. Now we will get prepared for the Russian Cup Final Four, all our thoughts are occupied with it already.”
Samantha Fabris, player of Dinamo-Ak Bars KAZAN: “Sure, three points are very important for us. Today we make a great job, especially the first set. After maybe we relaxed a bit but we take three points and win 3:0 – it was our target.
The first set was bad but then the team looked more solidly. What changed?
In the first set they made a lot of errors. In the second set they started to defense more. And in that situation we were not so patient. But after we took our lead and won the match.”
Ivelina Monova, captain of Maritza PLOVDIV: “It was a tough game. Congratulations to Kazan! May be that we can do more in this game. We tried to do our best, this wasn’t our best game. But in second set we came back a little bit more good-looking on the court.”
Champions League. 4th round. Group D. 2rd tour.
Dinamo Ak-Bars KAZAN – Maritza PLOVDIV - 3:0 (25:10, 25:21, 25:20)
21 December. Russia. Kazan. Volleyball Center “Sankt-Peterburg”
Referee: Krtizka J. (Czech Republic). Match time: 1.13 (20+27+26).
Dinamo: Lazarenko (10), Fabris (15), Bricio (10), Kadochkina (14), Lazareva (1), Konovalova (1) – starting line-up, Podkopaeva (libero), Koroleva – С (4).
Maritza: Guncheva (2), Dimitriva (1), Usheva (4), Milanova (8), Angelova (4), Chausheva (12) – starting line-up, Monova – C (libero), Pashkuleva (libero), Slavcheva (3), Hristoskova, Koeva, Dudova (5).
Points – 75:51, serve – 6:2, spike – 39(49%):28(31%), block – 10:9, reception – 43%:41%, errors – 12:26.
(Statistics by “Dinamo Ak Bars” coach-statistics M.Kuzovenin)

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