Russia improved to a win-loss record of 3-1 while snapping the Olympic defending champions USA’s three-game winning streak.
Maxim Mikhaylov and Sergey Tetyukhin collected 27 and 21 points respectively to lead the Russian offense while Alexander Volkov and Dmitry Ilinykh contributed 16 and 11.
Matt Anderson’s 18 points led the Americans while Clayton Stanley, David Lee and Reid Priddy finished with 14, 12 and 11 points respectively.
The winners held slight advantage of 16-15 in the blocks category and 8-6 in the service winners charts.
Russia took a narrow lead in the first set, with Taras Khtey and Maxim Mikhaylov doing most damage. Russian errors and Clayton Stanley spikes and blocks accounted for USA‘s points as they caught up, and the score tied at 24-24. Russia saved three set points before a Matthew Anderson‘s ace gave USA the set 29-27.
In the second set USA stretched ahead thanks to points from Anderson, David Lee and William Priddy. Russia struck back through Mikhaylov, Sergey Tetyukhin and Alexander Volkov, but USA were more accurate – hugely helped by setter Donald Suxho – and Russia made too many errors. USA won the set 25-19.
The third set was a real battle of spiking power between Priddy, Anderson and Stanley for USA and Mikhaylov, Tetyukhin and Volkov for Russia. The Russians prevailed 26-24 after saving a USA match point.
Russia stretched 6-1 ahead early in the fourth set as Dmitriy Muserskiy started to fire for Russia. USA were suddenly making more errors, and Russia defended their attacks superbly. Russia took the set 25-16.
In the deciding set, Russia took an 8-4 lead, with Mikhaylov and Tetyukhin grounding brutally. The Russians blocked USA‘s attempts well, and won the set (15-8) and match.
USA, with three wins and a loss, play Tunisia in the final round of group matches on Monday 6 August. Russia, who also have three wins and a loss, will face Serbia.