MARCH 3, 2018
Moscow, SP Dynamo

Volley ENERGO Cup – 2018

The winner of the tournament – Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Yoshkar-Ola (Yoshkar-Ola)
In the first spring weekends of the year, the Dynamo Sports Palace hosted the 1st All-Russian Volleyball Competition among organizations and companies of the fuel and energy complex. Volley ENERGO-2018 gathered 12 teams from St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, Nizhny Novgorod, Yoshkar-Ola, Sredneuralsk, Mytishchi and Klin and, of course, from Moscow at once. The teams of the companies came together under the roof of the Dynamo complex in order to reveal the winner

As a result of drawing of lots, quartet A turned out to be "host", since, in addition to the Sredneuralskaya GRES, three capital teams entered it at once – MOESK, RN-Trans and Gazprombank. In the opening match on the main arena, the tournament favorite MOESK won RN-Trans in two games, and Gazprombank did not accord a warm welcome to the residents of the Urals – 2:0 too. The representatives of the international energy group ENEL from Sredneuralsk and transport producers from Rosneft were not lucky enough to be in the same group with very powerful teams of Gazprombank and MOESK. The leaders of quartet A have exploited a success in the second round of the group stage. The Moscow Power Grid overcame the Urals in two sets, who "had a bite" only in the second game, bringing it to the tiebreak, but they still couldn't beat MOESK 15:9, 16:14 – the hosts won. And Gazprombank beat RN-Trans by a landslide (15:6; 15:8). The most consistent struggle was developed in the final round of the group stage. MOESK and Gazprombank showed an enchanting fight for the first place in the group. Only in three games, Gazprombank managed to beat the very masterful opponent, and if taking into account the fact that MOESK played in the urban competitions in a higher-class division, it may safely be said that a mini-sensation took place in this particular match: 2:1 in the games and the teams went to playoff. In the last match between RN-Trans and Sredneuralskaya GRES, the audience also watched a real battle. Moscow fans supported their team, not sparing voices and chords. And in the second game, RN-Trans seemed caught, bringing the game to the tiebreak, but ... despite this, Sredneuralsk was stronger that day. The final score was 2:0, and it brought the Ural residents to the third place in the group, but did not provide them with an access to the next stage, because according to the additional indicator, Sredneuralskaya GRES had the lowest ratio of the won and lost games among the teams that took the third place

Группа "А"

If the first quartet was Moscow one, then group B may be called as Leningrad one, because it consisted of North-West Plant and Vulcan. The Klin near the Moscow Region and Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Yoshkar-Ola kept a company to them. In the opening round, the plant workers from St. Petersburg confidently beat Klin 2:0 (15:11; 15:6). And the representatives of Mari El inflicted a tangible defeat to Vulcan, in two sets too (15:7; 15:11). However, in the second round of the group stage, Vulcan volleyball players made it clear that the loss did not embarrass them at all, but on the contrary – it provoked them. First, they forced the team from Klin to capitulate in an incredibly tense fight 2:0 (15:11; 19:17). Then the team from Yanino turned out to be stronger than the North-West Plant in the spectacular and breathtaking "derby of capital of the North" – 2:1 (15:11; 12:15; 15:11). These victories allowed Vulcan to take the second place in the group. Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Yoshkar-Ola rightfully took the first line of the second quartet, defeating the uncompromising plant workers of the North-West in three games 2:1 (13:15; 15:13; 15:7). And then, not without difficulty, they beat Klin volleyball players from the Moscow Region 2:0 (17:15; 18:16). In general, the four teams of group B can be considered ones of the most difficult, just look at the results of the games. The third place went to the North-West Plant, however, due to the character showed in the group games, the plant workers received a ticket to the Playoff according to the number of points

Группа "B"

The entire group stage of the quartet C was dominated by the Moscow Gazprom Energoholding. Having experienced no special problems in the first match with their fellow countrymen from the Siberian Generating Company (15:3; 15:7), the Energoholding players unexpectedly lost in the first game of the second round against Mytishchi Energoproject, but then Gazprom workers turned the tide of the meeting and won. The final score 2:1 (12:15; 15:4; 15:7) was achieved in the games and ENERGO got a ticket to the quarterfinal of Volley. In the final group match for the first place, the Gazprom team met Nizhny Novgorod "Afrikantov AEDME", which also got two victories over Energoproject (15:8; 15:12) and SGC (15:13; 15:12) respectively. Energoholding volleyball players beat the guests very confidently, and came out on top. As for the team of the Siberian Generating Company, it should be noted that despite the defeats, the players showed a real character and fought in every meeting. Having won the first game with Mytishchi 15:13, SGC was unable to exploit success in future – in the remaining two games the sporting success accompanied Energoproject 9:15; 12:15 in the games and the overall result of the match was 1:2 for Mytishchi, that went to the Playoff from the third place

Группа "C"

The match between the tournament favorite – Gazprom Energoholding team and the North-West Plant from the northern capital became the brightest quarterfinal battle. The start was very predictable: Energoholding won in the first game with a score of 15:10. However, later the residents of St. Petersburg, while demonstrating a real male character, won the second set 15:12. The volleyball players of Gazprom Energoholding did not expect such a plot twist, and although they imposed a struggle to the residents of St. Petersburg in the third game (the game reached a tiebreak), they could no longer stop the players of the North-West Plant who caught the courage. The outcome of the third set was 18:16 and Petersburg went to the semifinal, where it was already awaited by another competition favorite – MOESK, that won Afrikantov AEDME. In the other quarterfinals, Yoshkar-Ola and Moscow Gazprombank were stronger than Vulcan and Energoproject respectively. In the first semifinal, MOESK confidently outplayed the Petersburg workers in two games 15:10; 15:11, and the main troublemaker went to fight for the bronze medals. Moreover, the term "fight" turned out to be very applicable to this very interesting, uncompromising and cool team from St. Petersburg. Even at the group stage, Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Yoshkar-Ola clearly indicated its competition ambitions, which were developed in the match of the 1/2 final against Gazprombank 15:7; 15:11. The match for the bronze medals could again satisfy even the most sophisticated "volleyball gourmand" since Petersburg began with a defeat in the first set 11:15. And again, the plant workers showed their character. First, they won the second game in the tiebreak 18:16. And in the decisive set, Gazprombank volleyball team, which demonstrated high-quality and very cool volleyball throughout the entire competition, was forced to give way to the North-West Plant. The score in the game was 15:11 in favor of St. Petersburg and the honorable third place in the very status and large-scale tournament went to the players from the cultural capital. The final match of Volley ENERGO-2018 deserved perpetuation in the annals of the national amateur volleyball. The Moscow United Electric Grid Company, being the hosts of the arena, seized the initiative in the first game. Leading in the score with 12:11, the opposite player of MOESK sent the ball to the floor with all his strength. But the players from Yoshkar-Ola miraculously performed a trick, using two touches. The ball soared upwards... and the audience stood motionless, watching, as if in the slow-motion pictures, how the ball went out and the Mezhregiongaz player followed it. Hit! And the ball was saved and flew to the arena half of the Moscow players! When taking, the MOESK players worked out, they brought the opposite player to the attack, but the defense of Yoshkar-Ola was impossible to break through after such a rescue. Block! And the score became equal. Subsequently, the players and team leaders from Mari El noted that the moment was a turning point in the match. The fight for the main trophy continued, but then Gazprom Mezhregiongaz did not let the game go out of its hands. The score was 15:13; 15:12 in the games, the result was 2:0 and the First Volley ENERGO Cup left for Yoshkar-Ola!
Ist Place – Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Yoshkar-Ola (Yoshkar-Ola)
IInd Place – MOESK (Moscow)
IIIrd Place – North-West Plant (St. Petersburg)
IVth Place – Gazprombank (Moscow)
Discovery team – Sredneuralskaya GRES (Sredneuralsk)
The best supporting group – RN-Trans (Moscow)
The best libero – Viktor Geta (North-West Plant)
The best outside hitter – Denis Nikolayev (Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Yoshkar-Ola)
The best blocker – Aleksey Korneyev (MOESK)
The best passer – Dmitry Seleznev (Gazprombank)
The best opposite hitter – Vitaliy Lyubich (Gazprom Energoholding)
The best player – Aleksey Afinogenov (Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Yoshkar-Ola)

The team of Sportiko organizers thanks all those involved in the organization of such a large-scale event – the leaders of the participating companies and coaches of the teams, the Dynamo Sports Palace. We also thank the team of referees of the Moscow City College of Volleyball Referees, the charming cheerleading group "Menthol Show", the presenter Grant Pepoyan, and everyone who helped to arrange the competition together with us. Love and play volleyball! See you at the Volley ENERGO Cup – 2019!