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Russia extends streak against Dominican Republic

WALBRZYCH, Poland, June 12, 2018 - Russia preserved their longest unbeaten run (14 matches) against any nation by downing the Dominican Republic in straight sets 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-16).

Secured in large parts by the serving of their captain Ekaterina Lyubushkina and their powerhouse Irina Voronkova through the wings. After the match Voronkova expressed her delight at getting back into winning ways but knows there will be sterner tests to come, this weekend and beyond.

Pankov Vadim’s side may have lost all three games in the last round of matches, but that was not evident as this win takes them to position 7 and a VNL record of W7-L6. In a rare situation for a winning team, no player reached double figures in points, with Anna Kotikova Olga Biryukova and captain Lyubushkina all scoring 9. Kotikova noticeably playing her way into the starting team for the 3rd set after some impressive scoring off the bench in the first two.

With the Dominican Republic not registering any aces (compared to the 5 scored by Russia), and 74% of their serves being able to be passed to the preferred setting position the signs are there that the service pressure for the losing side was not tough enough. Russia also nearly doubled the attack points of their opponent (43-26).

Dominican Republic have now lost their last 5 matches (W2-L11) and it proved an uphill battle for the “Queens of the Caribbean” throughout. A special mention must go to Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez, as she passed the 200 VNL points mark (now on 208 points), who proved she is so much more than a points finisher, spectacularly keeping the ball in play on a number of occasions. 

Russia dominated this match from start to finish, despite having a team that in terms of average appearances for their country was vastly less experienced - 21 caps compared to 116. They will be learning with every match and tomorrow take on hosts Poland at the Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa, while Dominican Republic will face Japan earlier in the day.