In the second match of the Women's Volleyball Super League game day, the underdogs "Minchanka" and "Atom-Kursk" will go head to head.
The Belarusian club is, unfortunately, experiencing one of its worst seasons to date, boasting only 2 victories in the regular championship so far. Given the altered format of the competition, the team runs the risk of losing their Super League spot in the playoff games should they remain in their current next-to-last place.
Their sole victories to date have come consecutively in two November matches against their current adversary (1:3) and a home game against Zarechye-Odintsovo (3:2). Post-New Year, Minchanka's only notable achievement was a hard-fought tie-breaker in a match against Krasnoyarsk's Enisey.
Atom Kursk started off their previous season strong, breaking out of the group stage of the Russian Cup, and being the only team from the Higher League A to overcome the preliminary stage. This accomplishment was noted by the regional administration, which then set an ambitious goal for the team led by Yuri Tokarev: winning the Higher League A.
The team managed to win 4 out of 5 matches in the tour and essentially secured the Higher League A championship and subsequent promotion to the Super League after defeating Severyanka on the second game day.
In the off-season, Atom-Kursk underwent significant changes, with only Victoria Ivanova, Polina Syrkina, and Ekaterina Rozenkop remaining from the previous roster. Over the course of the season, the team has been reinforced by Victoria Sekretova from Zarechye and the club's first-ever foreign player, Evilania Martinez.
However, Atom Kursk has yet to claim their first Super League victory. The team came closest in a home game against Zarechye-Odintsovo. After winning the first two sets, they conceded the remaining sets and were forced to settle for a single point. In subsequent matches, the Kursk club managed to take only two sets from ten games.
The teams last faced off within the first round of the Super League regular season. On this occasion, Atom Kursk suffered a 1:3 defeat.
For this match, I believe the visitors may have a chance of forcing a fourth set, and potentially even a tie-break. Both teams are struggling at the moment, and I do not foresee a massive victory for Minchanka today.