Hornets must overcome youth, difficult schedule By Warren RappleyeaStaff Writer By Warren Rappleyea Staff Writer PHOTOS BY FARRAH MAFFAI Holmdel’s quarterback Tom Gorski will look to lead the Hornets’ offense this season as they look to improve on last year’s 2-8 mark. Despite a relatively young roster, the Holmdel High School football team returns eight seniors and a handful of experienced juniors as it seeks to improve upon last year’s 2-8 mark. “Most of our starters, on both sides of the ball, started at least a few games last year,” coach Joe O’Connor said. “That experience will certainly help us this year and it will enable us to break in our newer guys slowly. But we’ll also need to stay healthy.” The Hornets are expecting to do well offensively behind junior quarterback Tom Gorski (5-9, 180) and senior halfback Dan Hyppolite (5-10, 175), Holmdel’s top rusher a year ago. Hard-nosed sophomore fullback Joe Musillo (5-8, 205) will also start in the backfield. Senior Paul Plonskanka (5-10, 190) and soph Al Kealy (5-10, 190) should also get their share of carries, and senior Lou D’Avanzo (5-10, 190) is the reserve quarterback, O’Connor said. The receiving crew is comprised of senior Scott Yaeger (5-10, 180) and junior Austin Misuara (5-11, 185) at the wideouts, and sophomore Drew DeMaio (6-2, 215), a top-notch blocker with good hands, at tight end. Senior tight end Bob Heagle (6-0, 195) and junior Jimmy Foley (5-10, 190) provide depth. Foley also serves as the place-kicker. Senior halfback Dan Hyppolite looks to gain some yardage during a recent scrimmage against J.P. Stevens in Holmdel. Senior guards Anthony DiAntonio (6-1, 230), who played center last fall, and T.C. Nelson (5-10, 205), a fullback a year ago, anchor the offensive line. Senior Ilia Fountoukidas (6-1, 205) and junior Kevin Waldron (6-2, 225), who moves inside from tight end, are the tackles; and junior Mike Palmieri (5-9, 175) is the center. Nelson will handle the punting. The Hornets, who employed a 4-3 set last season, have installed an aggressive Bear 46 alignment under new defensive coordinator Bob Kearns. DiAntonio and Waldron are the tackles, with Heagle and senior Drew DeMaio (6-0, 200) at the ends, along with Palmieri. Musillo and Nelson are the inside linebackers, while juniors Dan DeMaio and Andrew Buckley handle the outsides. Hyppolite will see time at linebacker as well. Gorski, Yaeger and senior Jay Goff are in the secondary. “The guys are enjoying the new defense and they’ve picked it up very quickly,” O’Connor said. “It gives them a little more responsibility and it’s worked well in scrimmages.” Holmdel opens the regular season at home on Friday against Pinelands with the kickoff set for 7 p.m. From there, they face a rather daunting schedule once again, loaded with teams expected to be among the Shore’s better teams. Following Friday’s game with Pinelands, the Hornets will travel to Manchester for a Sept. 20 game, before a grueling stretch that includes games against Monmouth Regional, Middletown South, Neptune, Red Bank Regional, Long Branch, and a pair of state champions in Manasquan and Keyport.
BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff At left, CBA’s Joe Durso (23) is congratulated by teammate Jordan Warncke after delivering the game-winning hit in the Colts’ 2-1 state sectional final win over Gloucester Catholic on June 8 at Mercer County Park. Above, CBA pitcher Kevin Lillis shows the frustration that all of the Colts felt during their 19-5 loss to Seton Hall Prep in Saturday’s state final in Toms River. TOMS RIVER — Throughout this season, the Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) baseball team played like one of the state’s elite teams. On Saturday, they picked the worst possible time to slip. The Colts, who just three days earlier played a gem of a game in beating Gloucester Catholic, 2-1, to win the Non-Public South A final, fell apart against the Non-Public North A champs from Seton Hall Prep on Saturday, dropping the overall state championship game, 19-5. In what was being hyped as a pitching match-up for the ages — with CBA sending out ace Kevin Lillis (10-0, 1.34 ERA) and the Pirates turning to senior Nick Christiani (9-0, 0.59 ERA) — it was the combination of a loaded Seton Hall offense and a uncharacteristically shoddy CBA defense, which set the tone for this lop-sided affair early on. Above, Sean Driscoll fires a pitch to the plate during the Colts’ June 8 win over Gloucester Catholic, while at left, the Colts’ Dave Laufer is a picture of concentration moments before blasting a three-run home run during the Colts’ loss to Seton Hall Prep on Saturday. In the top of the first, Seton Hall’s John Callandrello earned a walk, then moved over to third when a ground ball to shortstop off the bat of Rick Porcello was thrown into right field. He then scored on a fielder’s choice to second, and just like that, it was 1-0. A second error by shortstop Pete Delleani put runners on first and third, before Lillis struck out a pair of batters to escape the inning, limiting the damage. CBA went down in order in its half of the first, as Christiani showed the blazing fastball and sharp curveball that had already led to 94 strikeouts on the season coming into the game. In the top of the second, the Pirates added three more runs on three hits and two more CBA errors. After consecutive one-out singles by Ryan McCrossin and Tim Schoenhaus, Callandrello hit a line drive that skirted under the glove of CBA second baseman Matt Bock, allowing the second run to score. The next batter, Porcello, hit a ground ball to third baseman Mike Luciano, who promptly tagged out the lead runner, before overthrowing the first baseman. Then, with runners on second and third, Steven Brooks singled up the middle, scoring both runners, and making it 4-0. But the Colts did not roll over. After junior right fielder led off the bottom half of the inning with a double, sophomore first baseman Jim Laufer walked. Bock then attempted a sacrifice bunt, but the lead runner was thrown out at third by Christiani. That set up the Colts’ big blow — a three-run home run to left from sophomore center fielder Dave Laufer. The Colts then added the tying run when senior designated hitter Joe Durso singled home senior catcher Phil Cahill, who had reached on a fielder’s choice before stealing second. Then the wheels came off. Seton Hall plated nine runs on seven hits and two more CBA errors in the top of the third, led by a two-run home run and a three-run triple from Christiani, who finished the game with three hits and seven RBIs. Before they were done, the Pirates sent 13 hitters to the plate, chasing Lillis, who was replaced by Jordan Warncke. However, Warncke didn’t fare much better, and was replaced by Avella, who promptly got the last out on a fly ball to right. Up 13-4, Christiani began to settle in, though he never really dominated the CBA hitters to the degree that was anticipated. But the lead was simply too much for the Colts to overcome, and after the Pirates added six more runs in the fourth, the game ended after the fifth inning. It was a different CBA team that took the field just three days earlier, as the Colts got a dominating pitching effort from senior Sean Driscoll (seven innings, two hits), and a timely bloop hit from Durso in the bottom of the seventh to beat Gloucester Catholic for the sectional title. Durso’s flare scored pinch-runner Marc Sansevere from second base, setting off a wild celebration, and giving the Colts their shot at the overall title. But it was not meant to be, as head coach Marty Kenney’s team lost to Seton Hall for the third time since 2001. CBA is a better team than it showed on Saturday. It’s unfortunate that they won’t get the chance to prove it. BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer
BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer There are a number of people that point to the Red Bank Catholic baseball programas one of the Shore Conference’s budding powers. A number of talented underclassmen have made their way up to the varsity level this year, after having tremendous success at the subvarsity level. The consensus is that RBC may still be a year or two away from becoming a statechampionship level team, but that may be selling this year’s team short. After winning the Shore’s Class A Central division a year ago, the Caseys believe their future is now, and have entered the 2010 season looking for even more hardware. On paper, they appear to have all of the ingredients of a team ready to make a run deep into the postseason. In fact, you’d be hardpressed to find a more talented roster in the Shore, as RBC has both the pitching depth and offensive firepower to make them an obvious divisional favorite. However, if there are any question marks with this loaded Casey team, it starts with its overall lack of varsity experience. No one questions the talent on this RBC team, the question is how quickly some of the youngsters in key roles will adapt to the varsity level. For that reason, the Caseys are likely to be a much better team in late May than they are in early April. But the early returns are promising, as the Caseys look to be pretty good already. This past weekend, RBC flexed its muscles in a season-opening 12-2 win over rival Raritan, pounding out 15 hits in five innings at Count Basie Field in Red Bank. Senior third baseman Chris Seldon led the way, going 3-for-3 with a home run, double and two RBIs, picking up right where he left off last year, when he hit .473 for the season. And while Seldon led the way at the plate, senior Jared Graziano was impressive on the hill, going all five innings for the win. The win over the Rockets followed the formula you would expect from a team entering the season with the high expectations the Caseys have for themselves. Head coach Buddy Hausmann enters his third season at RBC with a ridiculously deep pitching staff, with as many as 11 players capable of logging innings this spring. Workhorse Matt Marley (now at Iona) has graduated, leaving Graziano, who was 2- 2 last year, and junior Brendan McGann (also 2-2 last year) to head the staff. Both pitchers have top of the rotation quality stuff. But RBC has a slew of newcomers who have been successful at the freshman and jayvee levels. Sophomores Ryan Spahr and Ryan Slate (brother of former CBA stud and current Philadelphia Phillies draft pick Kyle Slate) have impressed in the early going, as has senior P.J. Cannamela. Seldon also has a live arm and will act as the team’s closer, as he did last year when he pitched to a 2.89 ERA. Junior Vinny Tranchina will be in charge of handling this pitching staff, and that certainly leaves the Caseys hurlers in good hands. Tranchina is widely regarded to be one of the better defensive catchers in the Shore, which is why he has already given an oral commitment to St. John’sUniversity. While the Caseys’ pitching staff is imposing, so is their line-up. Senior second baseman Steve Louie is one of the premier lead-off men in the Shore, coming off a year that saw him hit .439, with 21 runs scored, 20 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Louie is everything you want your table-setter to be, and could score 30-plus runs this year with a little help from his friends. While Seldon and Louie are certain to set the tone, RBC also expects senior first basemanMatt Bailey to swing a big bat after hitting .333 in limited action last year. Senior outfielder Mike Lucia and senior designated hitter C.J. Lucia should also be tough outs, while Tranchina has also shown signs of blossoming into a stellar offensive player. C.J. Lucia and Tranchina certainly got off to good starts against Raritan, with Lucia going 3-for-4 with a double and Tranchina getting a couple of hits, as did Cannamela. RBC was the consensus pick to win the A Central title back in 2008, only to struggle with its consistency. But the Caseys seemed to put it all together last year, when they went 13-9 overall and 11-3 in the division. They will likely be challenged within the division by a Rumson-Fair Haven team that is coming off a rare down season (7-14-1), but, like, RBC has tremendous depth to its pitching staff and a lineup loaded with potential. St. John Vianney should also be a solid team in A Central, despite losing some valuable players to graduation. RBC was set to host Holmdel yesterday, and will return to action tomorrow when they travel to Matawan. They then have off until next Wednesday, when the Shore Regional Blue Devils come to Count Basie Park. It will be interesting to see how the Caseys get out of the blocks this spring. While there may be some growing pains along the way, Hausmann has plenty of weapons at his disposal as he tries to find the winning formula in 2010. One thing is for certain, fans of RBC baseball have plenty to be excited about this spring.
Middletown High School South tight end Tayler Hendrickson (No. 45) tries to elude Sayreville War Memorial High School’s Malik Pressley (No. 12) after making a catch during the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV championship game played on Dec. 8 at Rutgers University’s High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway. The Eagles pushed the undefeated Bombers to the limit before succumbing, 35-28. ERIC SUCAR staff The Middletown High School South football team refused to fold and repeatedly rallied back before unbeaten Sayreville War Memorial High School hung onto a 35-28 NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV championship victory on Dec. 8 at Rutgers University’s High Point Solutions Stadium. For 18 seniors, it was their last chance to nail down the coveted state final, which was last won by the Eagles in 2006, as they finished the 2012 season 8-4.It was Middletown South’s fourth championship appearance in five years, all of them losses. The Eagles have reached the sectional final in 10 of the last 12 years and 19 times overall. ERIC SUCAR staff Above: Middletown High School South’s Patrick Crowe (No. 8) tries to bring down Sayreville War Memorial High School’s Malik Pressley (No. 12) during the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV championship game played on Dec. 8 at Rutgers University’s High Point Solutions Stadium. Sayreville made its three straight sectional championships by holding off a valiant effort by the Eagles, 35-28. Below: Middletown’s Anthony Citarella (l) and Sayreville’s Myles Hartsfield battle for the ball. Citarella scored two touchdowns, including a 62-yard interception return, for the Eagles. Junior quarterback Kyle Brey will return next year for another shot in what coach Steve Antonucci called a “transitional year” with all of the young players mixed in the lineup.Brey helped Middletown South bounce back in the closing minutes of the championship game just as it did earlier from a 28-7 deficit. Brey completed a 45-yard scoring pass to senior receiver Anthony Citarella, and junior Connor Ryan kicked the extra point to pull the Eagles to seven points, 35-28. They tried an onside kick, but Sayreville recovered and ran out the final two minutes.“I was concerned a little bit coming in [before this season] with a younger team, and we had to calm down a little before we got going,” said Antonucci, who said that Brey matured over the course of the season. “This sucks, I’ve got to be honest. But I feel we can be back here again next year.”Tight end Tayler Hendrickson, a junior, caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Brey and Ryan’s kick tied it at 7-7 midway through the first quarter. That’s when Sayreville scored on big plays, starting with a 61-yard run by quarterback Isaiah Cureton, who threw a 17-yard touchdown pass on the next series to make it 21-7.Middletown South drove to the 1-yard line, but it was pushed back by a 5-yard penalty before Brey was picked off for a 98-yard interception runback for the 28-7 lead that was a turning point in the game. The Eagles answered right back late in the first half when Brey threw a 60-yard pass to junior receiver Andrew Wisialko to put the ball on the Sayreville 2-yard line, and senior halfback Eli Smith scored from a yard out moments later. Citarella pulled Middletown South to 28-21 with a 38- yard interception runback.Cureton restored the comfortable cushion for Sayreville with a 4-yard touchdown run before Middletown South rallied back late in the game.There will be some big holes to fill with the departures of Citarella, 1,000-yard rusher Jake Ripnick and Smith, a transfer who came of age in the closing weeks. Smith led Middletown South to a 42-35 semifinals victory over Colts Neck High School, avenging an earlier loss.The line had a mixture of young players, and Hendrickson and Wisialko, who also excels at defensive back, give the Eagles some experience with Brey at the skill positions for next season. BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent
By Iacovos ConstantinouDESPITE being only into the third of a total of ten playoff games, the two local derbies in the top group between Apollon v AEL in Limassol and Omonia v APOEL may well prove decisive.Apollon know that only a win against their local rivals will keep their slim hopes of the championship alive. Apollon will be without their experienced defender Karipidis and midfielder Gullon, who are both serving a one match suspension. However they welcome back leading scorer Gaston Sangoy, who along with striker Paboulis, are capable of upsetting the meanest of defences.AEL will be out to avenge the team that inflicted their last defeat more than a month ago. The AEL players, with only the league to play for, may prove too strong for their opponents especially as the game wears on.Omonia have improved in leaps and bounds since new coach Kaiafas took over and they will fancy their chances against their bitter rivals APOEL. Kaiafas will have all players available while it appears that APOEL will be without their star forward De Vincenti. However APOEL’s Greek coach Donis is spoilt for choice up front with both Brazilian Santin and Paraguayan Adorno back in the reckoning.In the last game of the top group Anorthosis take on Ermis Aradippou. The Famagusta team will continue to field young local talent while Ermis is expected to rest a number of key players ahead of their Cup semi-final second leg against Apollon next Wendesday.In the relegation scramble, Aris Limassol takes on Ethnikos Achnas at the Tsirion stadium. A win for Aris will see them move above Ethnikos and out of the relegation zone while the visiting team may even settle for a draw.AEK Kouklion are seven points adrift of safety and even if they win against Doxa Katokopias they will need a few more wins and some favourable results to climb away from the drop zone. Doxa, deemed safe from relegation a few weeks ago, is just a couple of points from the danger zone and cannot afford to lose the game.In a game of little or no interest, the leaders of the bottom group Nea Salamina entertain second-placed AEK Larnaca at the Ammochostos stadium.All three group A games will be played on Saturday at 18.00 while two of the group B games, Aris v Ethnikos and Nea Salamina v AEK Larnaca will start on Sunday at 17.00. The AEK Kouklion v Doxa game will be played on saturday at 17.00.
By Brian HomewoodSevilla will be Benfica’s opponents on the field in Wednesday’s Europa League final yet many of the Portuguese team’s fans believe that other forces will be at work as they attempt to win their first European trophy for 52 years.After winning the old European Cup in 1961 and 1962, Benfica have gone on to play in seven more European finals and lost them all, a run of failures which many blame on the so-called ‘curse of Bela Guttmann’.Guttmann was the Hungarian coach who led Benfica to their two European Cup wins, but on leaving the club in acrimonious circumstances he declared: “Benfica will not win another European final without me.”Lo and behold, Benfica went on to lose finals to AC Milan (1963), Inter Milan (1965) and Manchester United (1968).Guttmann died in 1981, yet the run of defeats continued as they lost further European Cup finals to PSV Eindhoven (1988) and AC Milan (1990), and UEFA/Europa league finals to Anderlecht (1983) and Chelsea last year.The late Eusebio famously prayed at Guttmann’s grave in Vienna, asking in vain for the curse to be broken, and in February, the club unveiled a statue of Guttmann in front of the Stadium of Light, something many observers saw as another attempt to break it.Underneath the statue is a quote from Guttmann himself which reads: “Only those of us inside Benfica know what mystique really is. There is no other club in the world with a mystique like Benfica’s.”Coach Jorge Jesus, however, said that experience, hard work and tactics would decide the final at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.“I’m not superstitious,” he told reporters. “I believe in people’s value and the quality of their work. I believe that the best team does not always win in a final and I also believe that we can be better than Sevilla and win this match.“It’s the second time we are in one of these finals. We have a better idea of how to deal with the anxiety.”Sevilla, on the other hand, have played in two European finals and won them both, beating Middlesbrough in the 2006 UEFA Cup final and Espanyol the following year.“We all thought that Juventus would win this championship. We all know about Benfica and their potential and we’ve seen that they have knocked out Juventus and Tottenham along the way,” Sevilla coach Unai Emery said, suggesting that his side were underdogs.Fifth in La Liga, Sevilla have had a long, nerve-wracking 18-match route to the final which began at home to Montenegro’s Mladkost Podgorica on Aug. 1.They won a penalty shootout to beat neighbours Real Betis in the round of 16 and then scored an injury-time goal to beat fellow Spaniards Valencia on away goals in the semi-finals.Benfica parachuted into the competition’s knockout stage after being knocked out of the Champions League, something which many feel devalues the Europa League. They have played only eight matches in the competition and are unbeaten.Benfica have bounced back from a disastrous end to last season, when they lost the Europa League final, Portuguese Cup final and were pipped by Porto for the league title, and are on course for a domestic treble.The Eagles, who boast a large contingent of South American players, have already won the league and League Cup and face Rio Ave in the Portuguese Cup final on Sunday.“We are in the final on merit and we deserve everything that is happening to us,” said Jesus, who barely survived last season’s collapse and is now lauded as one of the country’s top coaches.
By Mitch PhillipsMartin Johnson experienced the ultimate high and some painful lows in his Rugby World Cups as player and coach and says the current team and management are still well-placed to reach the quarter-finals if they focus on what is in front of them.After losing to Wales last week, the knives have been out for England and coach Stuart Lancaster, though victory over Australia on Saturday would put them in a strong position to advance.“It sounds obvious, of course, but they just need to win on Saturday,” the former England captain told Reuters in an interview. “It’s essential that they get the Wales game out of their system, which I’m sure they will have done after the reviews, and focus everything on Australia.“If they win that, then it’s game on.”Johnson said he was frustrated by some aspects of England’s approach against Wales, particularly after getting themselves into such a strong position when leading by 10 points early in the second half.“I just felt they stopped playing a bit,” he said at an event organised by tournament sponsor MasterCard.“It seemed they were just trying to hold on to what they had and I was watching it thinking ‘no’ when they kept kicking the ball away.“There was that moment in the second half when we were on the attack and Wales had just lost two backs to injuries and we opted to try to drive it. I felt that was the time to try to move the ball, though of course it’s always easy to make those calls when you’re not out there.”In his defence, Johnson usually made the right calls when he was out there, and he has been at the sharp end in three World Cups as a player and one as coach.He was part of the team who beat Australia in the 1995 quarter-finals with a last-minute Rob Andrew drop goal, only to be brought crashing down to earth in the semis by New Zealand and Jonah Lomu.Four years later the boot was on the other foot as Jannie De Beer’s five drop goals for South Africa sent England packing at the quarter-final stage.In 2003 England finally came good, with Johnson hoisting the Webb Ellis Cup in Sydney before retiring as a player.Somewhat reluctantly, he was dragged back to coach the team and guided them to the Six Nations title in 2011 – England’s only success in that competition in the past 13 years – and then another run to the World Cup quarter-finals before a somewhat meek performance resulted in defeat by France.Despite his obvious allegiance, Johnson feels Saturday’s game is too close to call.“I just don’t know,” he said when asked if he thought England would come through. “They can, of course, and there’s no reason why not – and remember, they played pretty well for an hour against Wales.“But Australia are always a dangerous team. When you play against them you know you probably have to score 25 points as you know they are going to score tries.”
Formula One’s much-derided new qualifying format faces more criticism in Bahrain this weekend after a disappointing debut in Australia, Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff said on Tuesday.The Austrian warned also that the sport was ‘under scrutiny’ and needed to think carefully to extricate itself from a self-imposed problem.“This weekend we will see the new qualifying system continue after a less-than-impressive debut in Australia,” Wolff said in a team preview for Sunday’s second race of the season at the Sakhir circuit.“The teams were unanimous in their opinion of it on Sunday in Melbourne and it wasn’t a positive opinion. We haven’t found the right format with this change and it’s hard to see how it might be more entertaining for the fans this weekend in Bahrain.”Teams had agreed unanimously only weeks before the season started to change the qualifying format to create more excitement in the Saturday session, introducing instant elimination of the slowest drivers at timed intervals.While the first and second phases of qualifying saw more action, the final eight car session proved a flop with drivers watching from the garages as the clock ticked away the closing minutes without anyone on track.Wolff, whose team qualified first and second with triple champion Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, had said in Melbourne that the new format was ‘pretty rubbish’ and needed changing.However, a subsequent meeting of teams and F1 stakeholders failed to find unanimity and decided to leave it in place for at least one more race rather than be rushed into a knee-jerk decision.“The sport is under scrutiny on this matter, so careful thought is required in order to make coordinated, intelligent steps forward from the position we are in right now,” said Wolff on Tuesday.“The fans want close racing, in a format they can understand, between the best drivers and cars in the world — in that order. We should be capable of delivering that to the people in the grandstands and watching around the world.”Hamilton, who finished second to Rosberg in Australia, qualified on pole last year at Sakhir and will be chasing his third successive Bahrain Grand Prix victory on Sunday.
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has been named the Premier League manager of the month for March, while Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has won the players’ award.Ranieri guided his team to three wins and a draw during the month to consolidate their position at the top of the table, where they currently sit seven points clear of Tottenham with six games to play.This is the second time this season that Ranieri, who has also been named Italian coach of the year on the back of Leicester’s remarkable season, has won the award.He saw off competition from West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic, Swansea City boss Francesco Guidolin and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe.The Foxes began the month with a 2-2 home draw with West Bromwich Albion, followed by three 1-0 wins against Watford, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace.Kane netted five times in the league in March to climb to the top of the scoring charts on 22 goals, three ahead of his closest rival, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.
Wimbledon order of play for women’s quarter-finals on Tuesday. Prefix denotes seeding. All times GMT. CENTRE COURT (1200)5-Simona Halep (Romania) v 4-Angelique Kerber (Germany)1-Serena Williams (U.S.) v 21-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) COURT ONE (1200)8-Venus Williams (U.S.) v Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan)19-Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) v Elena Vesnina (Russia)