Russia has declared its 2018 international season roster, which reportedly includes 40-year old formerly retired hitter Lyubov Sokolova.
Sokolova, who hung up her jersey prior to the 2016 Olympics, represented Russia from 1996 to 2016, earning silver medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and gold medals at the 2006 and 2010 World Championships. The Russians were fifth at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Sokolova is listed on the roster as a libero.
A big question mark for the team is whether star outside hitter Tatiana Kosheleva will be back from knee surgery, after suffering an injury March 21 with club team Galatasaray in the Turkish League.
Middle blocker Victoriia Pushina and outside Valeriya Shevchuk were members of the Russian team at the U18 World Championships.
Libero Aleksandra Oganezova, opposite Victoriia Russu and middle Elizaveta Kotova were members of the country’s U20 World Championship side in 2017.
The Russian federation fired coaches Vladimir Kuzyutkin and Konstantin Ushakov after an underwhelming 2017 season. Vadim Pankov was named the head coach and had much to say about the team’s future, including his thoughts on potential roster changes.
The Russians will competed in both the Volleyball Nations League and the World Championship. The squad is in Pool 1 of the Nations League alongside Argentina, the Netherlands and Thailand, beginning May 15-17 in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
2018 Russian Women’s National Team Roster
Setters: Ekaterina Pankova, Vera Vetrova, Evgenia Startseva, Elena Novik, Daria Ryseva
Middles: Anastasia Samoilenko, Irina Fetisova, Victoriia Pushina, Angelina Lazarenko, Olga Efimova, Elizaveta Kotova, Ekaterina Enina, Rimma Goncharova, Irina Koroleva
Opposites: Natalya Litovchenko, Nataliya Goncharova, Isaeva, Victoriia Russu, Ekaterina Petrova, Natalia Malykh
Outside Hitters: Veleriya Shevchuk, Yana Shcherban, Ilchenko, Irina Voronkova, Anastacia Bavykina, Salonica, Anna Kotikova, Olesya Sharavskaya, Iurinskaya, Margarita Pankova
Líberos: Lyubov Sokolova, Ekaterina Ulanova, Mariya Frolova, Romanenko, Aleksandra Oganezova, Galeyeva