Club Volleyball

Europeans Abroad: Muserskiy guides Sunbirds to Japanese title


Article Sun, Mar 31 2024
Author: Guilherme Torres

European volleyball players are spread all over the world during the 2023-2024 club season, playing big roles in their teams. Many of them are currently away from the continent, competing in some of the top leagues on the planet, and we’ll help you follow their journeys by providing periodic updates on how they’re doing.

Muserskiy and his Sunbirds teammates celebrate the Japanese title (Photo: V. League)


Having Russian star Dmitriy Muserskiy as a key player, the Suntory Sunbirds claimed their tenth title in the Japanese Men’s V. League this weekend, prevailing in the tournament’s single-leg Finals.

The 35-year-old opposite was critical to his team’s victory in the event’s gold medal match as he tallied 24 points (23 kills, one block) in a 3-0 win over regular season winners Panasonic Panthers on Sunday at the Ariake Coliseum, in Tokyo, which saw a record attendance of 9,544.

A London 2012 Olympic champion, Muserskiy joined the Sunbirds in 2018 and has won five titles with the team, including two Japanese Leagues and the historic Asian Club Championship last season.

The Russian star was selected for the tournament’s Dream Team for a fifth straight year. Another European player, Hungarian opposite Krisztián Pádár, who played with the Toray Arrows, was the V. League’s top scorer for a third-straight season.


Led by European players, Shanghai Bright and Beijing BAIC Motor advanced to the Finals of the Chinese Mne’s League this week, prevailing in their best-of-three semifinal series. The teams will battle for the title for a third straight season and for the eighth time in the last decade.

Shanghai were the first to advance, bringing their series against Zhejiang Sports Lottery to an end after two matches with a 3-0 home win on Thursday. The team, which will appear in the league final for a tenth-straight season, counted on 18 points from star Serbian opposite Aleksandar Atanasijević and another 12 from former Polish national team captain Michał Kubiak to secure their second victory in the series.

Kubiak hits during the Chinese League semifinals (Photo: China Volley)

The second semifinal needed three duels to be decided and defending champions Beijing came back from a defeat to Hebei Baoding in the first duel of the series, winning on Thursday 3-0 and on Sunday 3-2 to move forward and remaining strong in their title-defense campaign.

The series had European players on both sides of the court as Belarusian middle blocker Maksim Shkredau and Ukrainian setter Yurii Synytsia featured for Beijing while Serbian setter Mihajlo Mitić, Belarusian opposite Artur Udrys and Serbian outside hitter Lazar Ćirović appeared for Hebei. 


Russian Sofya Kuznetsova and Bulgarian Dobriana Rabadzhieva will play a decisive match in the Brazilian Women’s Superliga on Tuesday as their team Dentil Praia Clube is set to meet SESI Vôlei Bauru in the third and decisive encounter of their best-of-three quarterfinal series.

The teams split wins over the week, with Praia triumphing 3-2 on Tuesday and Bauru prevailing also in five sets on Friday. Kuznetsova scored 23 points (all in kills) in the first encounter and 30 (27 kills, two blocks, one ace) in the second.

Serbian Aleksandra Uzelac, on the other hand, saw her season in Brazil come to an end in the quarterfinals as her team Fluminense lost twice to Gerdau Minas in three days. The 19-year-old European scored five points coming off the bench in the first duel and missed the second due to an injury.