Successful launch: the French volleyball team, Olympic champions, got their quest for a first world title off to a perfect start by winning their first three-set match against Germany (25-22, 28-26 , 26-24), Friday in Ljubljana. With this success without returning a single round, the Blues have already opened the door to the round of 16 before facing Slovenia on Sunday in front of their home crowd, first place in the game, then Cameroon on Tuesday to conclude the group stage. “It was difficult (…) But it’s not easy to start a competition either, getting out of it with 3-0 is really good” underlined to the press Trévor Clévenot (12 pts).
The striker-receiver and his teammates are aiming for a clear round in the pools to benefit from an opponent that is a priori more favorable in the round of 16 in view of their quest: the final on September 11 in Poland, in order to win the only missing crown. tricolor volleyball, winner of Euro-2015 then crowned in Tokyo last summer.
On a good dynamic
The Blues had in the wake of this Olympic coronation been ejected from the knockout stages of the Euro. Since then, they have changed coach, since the Italian Andrea Giani replaced the Brazilian Bernardinho, who threw in the towel at the beginning of the spring for personal reasons. They have been on cloud nine since the arrival of the Italian legend on the bench, winners of the League of Nations in July before teaching Brazil a lesson last Saturday in preparation for the World Cup (3-0).
They therefore started the World Cup by continuing their good momentum. The German big hitters, too inexperienced and inconstant, did not manage to thwart them. The “Yavbou team”, sure of its strength, was able to tighten the game in the end of sets.
“Be more aggressive”
She didn’t really need it in the first, where she came away 11-11 to 15-11. Much more in the next two. In the second set, a sign that not much seems to be able to reach her at the moment, she overcame a seven-point delay (16-23) then saved four set points. To end up offering a set point on an ace from Ngapeth, the match’s top scorer (15 pts), and to conclude the round with a counter from Barthélémy Chinenyeze. Giani “liked” in front of the press the reaction in this second set, minus the overall score: “The first game is never easy. We weren’t too much on the pace, didn’t +touch+ the ball very well .”
The demanding coach also had certain attitudes across his throat in the last round: “We lost three points without really fighting. I didn’t like it. It’s not the identity of France. We have to be more aggressive, focused. But 3-0 is a good result for the round of 16.” Chinenyeze was the man of the last round: while the Blues were held in check (22-22), he made two counters then a winning attack to put them back in front.
And thus launch the French volleyball team perfectly in this competition where it intends to mark the history of French volleyball a little more. “There are things to improve, especially in the service where we can do much better, tempered Clévenot. We will have to take a step forward if we want to go further”.
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