20. 09. 2020

RUSSIAN CUP M: Preliminary stage over - Kuzbass 8 of 8, suspension of Zenit St. Petersburg removed

Source: volleyservice.ru; Photo: Волейбольный клуб "Кузбасс"/Facebook

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The preliminary stage of the 2020/21 Russian men’s volleyball Cup is over.


The preliminary stage of the 2020/21 Kubok Rossii for men closed with two matches today.

Kuzbass absolutely dominated Zone 1 in Novosibirsk with eight wins in as many games, including today’s against the country’s champions Lokomotiv: 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 18-25, 25-20). Italian Ivan Zaytsev once again showed class, putting down 18 points. However, the blocking display of Mikhail Shcherbakov is noteworthy as well (7 blocks). Serbian Dražen Luburić scored 15 points for Lokomotiv.

In the other match of the last day of the preliminary stage, also in Zone 1, Yugra-Samotlor beat Gazprom-Yugra in five sets.

According to the rules of the Cup, the best 12 teams (top four in each of the three zones) are to progress to the semifinal stage consisting of three pools of four teams each. However, it isn’t going to be exactly like that.

Given that Zone 3 had four clubs in total and that the last-placed Neftyanik will likely withdraw from financial reasons, it still remains unknown who’ll take their place in the next stage - the fifth-placed side in Zone 1 (Gazprom-Yugra) or the fifth-placed side in Zone 2 (Dinamo-LO)? Gazprom-Yugra have more points (2 points) compared to Dinamo-Lo (0 points) but Russian media speculate that the Surgut team will withdraw from the same reason as Neftyanik.

Interestingly, Zenit Saint-Petersburg will continue competing in the tournament despite playing only two matches before being suspended due to the appearance of the coronavirus among their players. The media reported that the number of positive cases to COVID-19 in the team reached 14. The Russian federation (VFV) will allegedly make the exception in the case of Zenit St. Petersburg because of the force majeure. The rule of the VFV clearly says: “If a team fails to appear at one game, it’s awarded a defeat and one point is removed from it. If it fails to appear again, it will be removed from the competition“. Given they were hosts of Zone 2, the games in this zone were suspended altogether after coronavirus infections at Zenit players.

2020/21 Kubok Rossii, men, preliminary stage – Day 10:





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