Key Russian internationals stay put

Moscow, Russia, April 6, 2020 – Several members of the women’s national team of Russia have extended contracts with their current clubs.

Moscow, Russia, April 6, 2020 – Several members of the women’s national team of Russia have extended contracts with their current clubs.

Soon after newly-crowned champions Dinamo Kazan secured the continued services of Evgeniya Startseva and Irina Koroleva, they announced that Anna Podkopaeva and Olga Biryukova are staying with the club as well. Runners-up Lokomotiv Kaliningrad also renewed their agreements with Irina Voronkova, Tatiana Iurinskaia and Margarita Kurilo, while Nataliya Goncharova and Irina Fetisova shook hands with fourth-placed Dinamo Moscow.

Goncharova and Fetisova’s extensions were announced by Dinamo Moscow’s general director Vladimir Zinichev, who said they signed with the club for the next season, also informing that US international Lauren Carlini, Czech international Helena Havelkova and three Russian players are leaving, while another Russian international, 30-year-old middle blocker Ekaterina Lyubushkina, has decided to take a break in her competitive career.

Nataliya Goncharova, 2010 world champion, two-time European champion and two-time Olympian, has been with Dinamo since 2008 and has already won five national titles. With the national team she was named Best Opposite of the 2015 World Cup and Best Opposite of the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix. More recently, the 1.96m-tall striker was the best scorer of the 2019 FIVB World Cup in Japan producing 209 points towards the bronze medals.

1.90m-tall Irina Fetisova, who joined Dinamo in 2015 and has so far contributed towards four national titles, was the best blocker of the intercontinental Olympic qualification tournament in Kaliningrad, where the Russian national team secured a ticket to Tokyo. Earlier in her career, Fetisova took part in one Olympic Games and two World Championships, became European champion in 2015 and was awarded Best Blocker of the 2015 World Grand Prix.

Zinichev also announced that Brazilian super star Natalia Pereira, a 2012 Olympic champion and two-time World Championship medallist, was about to sign with Dinamo, as all the terms of her transfer from the 2019 FIVB Club World Championship runners-up Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul to the club from Moscow have been finalized.

2014 FIVB Club World Championship gold medallist (with Dinamo Kazan) Irina Voronkova, who joined the inaugural squad of Lokomotiv Kaliningrad in 2018 and won the 2019 Russia Super Cup as well as two silver medals in the Russian Superliga, will stay with the team coached by her father Andrey Voronkov for the next season. The 2016 Olympian was on the Russian team that won the ticket to Tokyo 2020 and the bronze medals at the 2019 World Cup. The outside spiker was the seventh best scorer, the third best attacker and the ninth best server of the 2018 VNL preliminary round.

Another World Cup bronze medallist, 26-year-old outside Margarita Kurilo, has extended her contract with Lokomotiv for one more season. She joined the Kaliningrad club in 2019.

Also staying for a second year with Lokomotiv is another outside spiker, the eighth best server of the 2019 VNL preliminary round, 1.95m-tall, 24-year-old Tatiana Iurinskaia.

The best digger and third best receiver of the 2016 London Olympics, libero Anna Podkopaeva, who joined Dinamo Kazan in 2019, signed with the champions for two more seasons. With the national team, Podkopaeva is a two-time World Grand Prix medallist and two-time European champion, earning the Best Libero honours at the 2015 editions of both competitions.

Olga Biryukova, the 25-year-old outside, product of Dinamo’s youth academy, returned to the club’s women’s squad in 2019. After her second national cup and third national title with the team, her contract was extended for another year. With Sbornaya, Biruykova won silver at the 2015 World Grand Prix and participated in the 2018 World Championship and the 2018 VNL.

More volleyball from Russia:

Quick links: