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Russians enter final matches with unbeatable cushion

Except for a loss in its last match to Finland, Russia has been nearly invincible in its Pool C matches in FIVB World League play.

The Russians are 9-1 in pool play and have swept five opponents in three sets. Only once in nine victories has the team been taken to a fifth set.

With Pool C already clinched, Russia dropped its match last Saturday to Finland.

Hitter Maxim Mikhaylov is the biggest offensive threat with 145 points on 118 kills. Seven-foot Dmitriy Muserskiy has 118 points on 69 kills with 34 blocks.

Setter Sergey Grankin is fifth among World League setters with a 6.28 running set average.

Russia has finished third in the last two FIVB World Leagues. It also won the bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The team is coached by Italian Daniele Bagnoli, 56. An eight-time champion as a coach in the Italian League, he took over VC Dinamo Moscow in 2007, leading the club to the 2008 Russian League title.