Zenit Kazan suffer first Superliga defeat


Belogorie’s players celebrate a successful rally against Zenit (photo: belogorievolley.ru).

Belgorod, Russia, November 17, 2020 – Belogorie Belgorod stunned Zenit Kazan in a five-set match to hand Vladimir Alekno’s squad their first defeat of the Russian Superliga season on Monday.

20-year-old Russian junior international Egor Sidenko who subbed in for Italian star Gabriele Nelli during the game was the hero of the day emerging as Belogorie’s best scorer in the 3-2 (25-20, 17-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-13) victory over Zenit. The 1.98m-tall opposite, who was on the Russian squad that reached the semifinals of the 2019 FIVB U21 Volleyball World Championship and won gold at the 2018 CEV U20 European Championship, came in as a substitution during the first two sets of the match, but then made Belogorie’s starting line-up for the next three. He finished with 16 points to his name, including an ace and a block, registering a 58% success rate in attack.

Another 20-year-old, outside Pavel Tetyukhin, who was also a member of last year’s U21 national team at the World Championship in Bahrain, impressed with four aces, including three in a row in the fifth set, towards a 13-point total, while former junior international Sergey Chervyakov tallied 14 points, including four blocks, for Belogorie.

Zenit’s Polish star Bartosz Bednorz was the best scorer of the match on 23 points, including four aces and two blocks.

It was only Belogorie’s second win in six matches played since the start of the Superliga season and the team moved up to the 11th place in the standings. Zenit are still the table leaders on a 10-1 win-loss record, but now second-placed Dinamo Moscow are the only undefeated team in the league boasting a record of five victories in five matches. Next down the standings are Zenit Saint Petersburg and Kuzbass Kemerovo, on 5-2 each.

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