Zenit opened with a terrific 5:0 break to set the tone of the match before Stade Poitevin gradually got into the game with the help of Milos Culafic and Jean Philippe Sol (16:13 for the guests).
With Maxim Mikhaylov on fire, KAZAN re-opened the gas and could finish the set quite comfortably at 25-20.
The score stayed pretty tight in set 2 with ties at 7 and 14 with the audience enjoying some great Volleyball as Mikhaylov was impressing with his skills.
However, a service error of Nikolay Apalikov paved the way for POITIERS that pocketed that section of the match at 25-23.
Jean Philippe Sol set the pace for the home side in set 3 before Yury Berezhko and Alexander Gutsalyuk got KAZAN back on track (17:17).
Milos Culafic turned into the leader of Stade Poitevin as he was regularly pumping us his guys and Valerio Vermiglio, the setter of Zenit, was punished with a yellow card (22:17), with POITIERS finally taking home this set as well.
Gutsalyuk restored the authority of the Tatars in the fourth set (13:9) and even though POITIERS leveled at 17 all with André Lopes, the home guys could not stop Mikhaylov and Apalikov who called for the tie-break (25-23).
There Zenit stormed out to a provisional 8:5 and eventually kept cool to score all deciding points and finish it at 15-12.
“We missed a great opportunity tonight and even though we were playing a stellar team we are somehow disappointed” says home mentor Olivier Lecat.
“I am very angry because we played really bad” stresses Russian head coach Vladimir Alekno.
“I am curious to see how POITIERS will be able to play next week while suffering from the jet lag”.