2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League – Week 5, Pool 20
- June 22-24, 2018
- Pala Panini; Modena, Italy
- Time Zone: UTC + 2 (Eastern Time +6)
- World Rankings: No. 2 USA, No. 4 Russia, No. 4 Italy, No. 9 France
|Date||Time||Score||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4||Set 5||Total||Report|
Russia def. Italy 3-0
- Russia defeated Italy 25-21, 25-22, 25-20
- Russia moved to 10-3 (31 points); Italy moved to 7-6 (21 points)
Dmitry Muserskiy came off the bench to rack up 12 points and lead Russia in a sweep of Italy to grab a spot in the VNL Final Six.
Muserskiy turned in nine kills, two aces and a block, while Egor Kliuka chipped in 11 putaways and a block to pace the Russian attack. Victor Polataev (9), Dmitry Volkov (7) and Ilia Vlasov (5) also aided the team. Polataev notched seven kills, while Volkov added six. Vlasov put up a team-best three blocks.
Ivan Zaytsev (15), Filippo Lanza (10) and Gabrielle Maroutti (10) scored in double digits to lead Italy. Zaytsev put down a match-high 13 kills and added a block and an ace, while Lanza and Maroutti chipped in nine kills apiece, but it was not enough.
Russia scored an extra 10 points on errors (23-13) and boasted a 7-4 lead in blocks and 6-4 edge in aces. Italy had the advantage in kills (42-39).
Italy jumped ahead 8-5 in the match, but Russia countered as its block heated up. In the end, Volkov came through to push the Russians to a 25-21 win.
In Set 2, Russia worked its way to an 8-5 lead, but Giannelli and Lanza turned the tables to put Italy on top 16-14. In a quirky mishap, Russia went to challenge for a block touch, but mishit the button for type of review, accidentally punching ball in/out and lost the point. Zaytsev excelled, but the Russians battled back to within one and then took the set after a serving run by Muserskiy and a final putaway by Poletaev.
Italy did not go quietly, battling Russia throughout Set 3. Volkov gave Russia the lead at the second technical timeout and the team hung on for the 25-20 win, grabbing the final point on a Vlasov kill.
Despite the loss, Italy is still not mathematically eliminated from the Final Six race, but the team must knock off France and the United States and have help to get in.