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SYDNEY 2000 / SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES | SPORT BY SPORT
: VOLLEYBALL

Russian Women Roll After Coach Rages

September 20, 2000

Russia faced the last difficult test in its Olympic women's volleyball group, getting past Italy, 29-31, 25-18, 25-21, 25-19, today at Sydney.

After his team dropped the back-and-forth first game, fiery Russian Coach Nikolai Karpol unleashed a torrent of verbal abuse on his players, his red face trembling with rage.

It must have worked, because the Russians got their intimidating blocking game going, behind 6-foot-3 Elizaveta Tiktchenko and 6-7 Ekaterina Gamova. Tiktchenko had seven of Russia's 19 blocks, while the higher-jumping Italians managed only 11.

Tiktchenko had 17 kills and Evgena Artamova 16 for the Russians, who now face unheralded Germany and South Korea, with a clear path to the semifinals.

Elisa Togut had 13 kills for Italy, which fell to 1-2 but still should advance from Group B to the final eight.

Earlier, Ana Fernandez had 11 kills as Cuba ended South Korea's fast start in group play with a 25-17, 25-13, 25-15 victory.

Cuba remains in position for a top-two finish in Group B, which would help it avoid Brazil in the quarterfinals next week.

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