Montreux, Switzerland, May 27, 2015 - A fresh Russia, at its first game of the Montreux Volley masters, beat the Dominican Republic, now 0-2, in three straight sets (23-25, 21-25, 23-25). Since the warm-up, the two teams shot cannon balls on the floor of the Pierrier Sports Hall, providing to the audience an awesome spectacle on all the fronts of the game. But powerful hitting was not the only dazzling part, liberos & Co. dug incredible balls, hustling all over the court. A great performance from both team, that some of the Dominican fans would say it finished too early.
After the first few points of battle, a young Russia at its first game of the 30th edition of the Montreux Volley Masters took a decisive lead over a very overwhelmed Dominican Republic.
The first set started off as a one sided performance, with Russia towering over a Dominican Republic, which seemed to have forgotten how to play a team sport. Nevertheless, few spectacular saves of libero Brenda Castillo, and a good serve-run of Gina Altagracia Mambru Casilla (Mambru), helped by few critical Russians errors, put the Dominicans back in the game, who slowly found their confidence again. The queens of the Caribbean's come-back was incredible, from 14-24 to 23-24, thanks to outstanding blocking, great digging, and fearless hitting, but a mistake behind the service line gave the set to the Russians, who sure to have the set in the pocket, forgot for some good 10 minutes how to play volleyball.
The second set was a point-to-point conflict, with both teams eager to conquer the other one: indomitable hitters hammered balls to the floors, the liberos picked up the impossible from the back row, blockers set up the Great Wall of China on both side of the net, the show was one of the most exceptional so far seen in the Pierrier Sports Hall. Despite the passionate fight put up by both team, Russia closed the second set on a score of 21-25.
The first half of the third set saw for the first time the Dominican Republic taking the lead, and the first technical timeout stopped the game on a score of 8-7. Despite the Dominican constant lead, Russia did not give up, and kept the opponents from taking off, finally tying at 20-20.
After a set uphill, the Russians re-took control over the game, and closed the set on a score of 23-25, ending their first game of their tournament with a straight win.
Noteworthy were the performances of libero Castillo who did magic in defense, and setter Anna Matienko, who, with her experiences and composure, lead her team to the W. Top scorers for both teams were Dominican Mambru, and Anastasia Bavykina for Russia, who picked up respectively 15 and 12 kills for their teams.