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Lyubov Shashkova-Sokolova-Kilic (RUS)
The most complete Russian player Karpol ever produced
This incredible new player has become the most complete creation to emerge from Karpol's factory in Yekaterinburg. He has created a player that can hit outside as well as she can hit quick middles, not to mention the slides and medium balls that she hits on the right side, where she usually plays opposite the setter. Lyubov can also jump serve extremely well, and her blocking is very solid, helped greatly by her height. But her defence leaves nothing to be desired, as this girl can pass very well, and she picks up her share of digs (though in general that's not a department any of the Russians excel in). Still, Lyubov has shown the world very
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Though neither Lyubov, nor any of her teammates had any response to Cuba in the final of the World Cup, their clash in Sydney will be met with great anticipation, for Lyubov has gotten better. Hopefully, Vassilievskaja will be daring enough to run more combination plays which will give her team the advantage it needs to counter the tall Cuban blocks. Russia has enough firepower in Chachkova-Sokolova, Artamonova, and Godina, and their blocking is as solid as the Cubans, but they need to run a faster offence if they want to beat the Caribbeans at their game. Let's see if in Sydney, Lyubov completes her rise to all-around stardom, and with that, maybe inspire some new names in future Russian generations to do the same.
Yevgenya Artamonova (RUS)
Russia's Big Gun for the turn of the Century
When I saw Yevgeniya Artamonova standing outside the courts at the '94 Goodwill Games in Saint Petersburg, I said to myself, "Why not just go up and talk to her?" So I called her by her short name—Zhenja!—and she looked over and she smiled. In basic Russian, I told her I was Peruvian, a fan of hers, and asked her why she hadn't played the previous match. She said she had a problem with her knee, and as things turned out she didn't play at all during the whole tournament. Zhenja was very sweet, very polite and girly in a way. But her on-court persona is 180 degrees from that. She has become one of the most feared hitters in the world right now, and in the post

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