- Dynamo Moscow 3, Yenisei Krasnoyarsk 1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-15, 25-21)
- Dynamo Moscow wins the semi-final series 2-0
- Dynamo Moscow advances to the Russian Championship series, secures invite to 2018 Champions League
- Finals will begin April 17-18. Moscow will host the 2nd game from April 28-29.
Dynamo Moscow has booked their spot in the Russian Championship Superleague final for the 7th-straight year thanks to a 3-1 win over Yenisei Krasnoyarsk on Saturday.
Two-time defending league MVP Nataliya Goncharova led the team through tough circumstances on a quick turnaround from Champions League action.
“I had no doubts that today would be a hard game,” said Dynamo Moscow head coach Yury Panchenko. “Firstly, we have been practically without any training, we just came here from back Italy, 6 hours time difference. The girls had a hard time, they did not run, but walked around the court…This team, Yenisei, which throughout the season gave us a good game, played hard to try and beat us at their home. After the first set, which seemingly easy win, Yenisei did well and didn’t give up. We wish them success in the upcoming match of the European Cup, and we are already be preparing for the final.
Moscow jumped out to an early lead in the first set, but played a sloppy second set that allowed Yenisei to jump out 7-2. Moscow would close that lead to 2 points, where it would stay for most of the set, but Yenisei had enough to hold on and even the day at 1-1.
Moscow again took an early lead in the 3rd set coming out of halftime, going up 8-5, and then growing it to 20-12.
Neither team had a big early advantage in the fourth and final set. The game was tied at 7-7 and drove onward to 16-17. But the more experienced Dynamovkami held on to their lead to win 25-21.
Acting Yenisei head coach Alexander Koshkin said that he would rather face Uralochka in the upcoming bronze medal game, as the two played even 1-1 in their regular-season matchups.
- Dinamo Kazan 3 – Uralochka -NTMK 2 (19-25, 27-29, 25-19, 25-20, 15-13)
- Semi-Finals Series tied 1-1
- Tie breaker will take place on April 8th in Kazan
The other women’s semi-final will go to a tie-breaking 3rd game from April 8th in Kazan as Dinamo Kazan beat Uralochka 3-2 on Saturday.
The two are playing both for a spot in the final of the Russian Championship and a spot in next year’s Champions League.
Uralochka were last year’s league runners-up and are the most decorated team in league history with 14 titles. Kazan has the second-most titles in league history, having won all 5 titles from 2011-2015. That makes this a matchup of two league superpowers for a chance to face Moscow in the final.
Uralochka looked like they might run away with this one early, having won each of the first two sets.
Set 3 was a wild-swinging back-and-forth affair. Dinamo jumped out to an early lead, but Uralochka evened things up at 9-9. Dinamo again opened up a lead, this time four points, but again Uralochka closed to 13-13. Once again, Dinamo went on a run, winning the next 3 points, and again Uralochka evened the score 16-16.
Down the stretch, though, Dinamo settled in and was able to pull away for a 25-19 win, with Uralochka unable to match the last Dinamo punch.
But the visitors still had work to do, needing to win 2 more to continue their season.
Dinamo cleaned up their mistakes in the 4th set, both offensively and defensively, to tie the game up 2-2.
Dinamo again jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the final set, and after a small Uralochka surge, were able to extend that lead all the way to 10-4.
Uralochka won 7 of the next 8 points, though, to draw within 1 at 11-10. Kazan pushed forward to 14-11, and after 3 match points took the final set to continue on in their quest for another title.
“Today we received a great experience,” said Kazan head coach Alexander Perepelkin. “Everything went wrong for us and Uralochka played well, and that made our victory more valuable. With the score 0-2, we fought, and this has brought success.”