Two out of two for the Blues

After dominating Italy to kick off their Nations League campaign, Les Bleus continued their momentum with a four-leg win over Serbia.

The Blues keep the pace in the League of Nations. Fallers of Italy reigning European champion this Wednesday, Andrea Giani’s men got the better of Serbia in their second outing in the competition. However, on the Ottawa floor, it was the Serbs who got off to the best start. Pavle Peric’s teammates (22 points) immediately took control in the game but failed to take a lead of more than three points. Managing to win four consecutive exchanges, the Habs were then able to move ahead on the scoreboard for the first time but this one-length advantage did not hold. Winning eight of the next ten points, Igor Kolakovic’s players regained the upper hand to claim the first set from their first set point. The Blues then reacted and raced in the lead from the first point of the second set but it was only after a crossover that Stephen Boyer’s teammates (22 points) were able to take a little more ‘air. Catchy, the Serbs remained until the end with less than four points and saved two first equalizing balls at one set everywhere before yielding.

The Blues have never been safe

The start of the third set will remain to be forgotten for the French team, which conceded the first four points and had to run behind Nikola Meljanac (20 points) and his teammates for a long time. However, never counting more than five points in advance, the Serbian selection did not take shelter and the Blues gradually made up their delay to equalize after 28 disputed points. But it was only in the home stretch that the Blues took control. A 6-1 allowed them to have a first set point but it was in the second that they took the lead in this meeting. Round four was a lot like round two. Indeed, the teammates of Earvin Ngapeth (15 points) and Barthélémy Chinenyeze (10 points) led the race from start to finish but, for a long time, Serbia remained in contact. Even a streak of four points won in a row and a margin of six points did not end the suspense. Indeed, in the process, Serbia inflicted a 6-1 to the Habs to return to a length. Tightening the game, Andrea Giani’s players ended the debate on their second match point (25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 23-25) and remain undefeated heading into a challenge to Canada this Friday, early this Saturday in France.

Week 1 – Pool 2 (in Ottawa, hours in French time)

Day 1 – Thursday June 9, 2022
France – Italy: 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-19)

Day 2 – Thursday June 9, 2022
Serbia – France : 1-3 (25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 23-25)

Day 3 – Saturday June 11, 2022
1h30: France – Canada

Day 4 – Sunday June 12, 2022
5:00 p.m.: France – Poland

General classification
1- United States 6 points
2- France 6
3– Japan 6
4- brazil 3
5- Poland 3
6- Iran 3
7- Germany 3
8- Serbia 3
9- Argentina 3
10- Bulgaria 0
11- China 0
12- Netherlands 0
13- Italy 0 >>> Automatically qualified for the quarter-finals as host country
14- Canada 0
15- Australia 0
16- Slovenia 0

The first seven in the general classification will join Italy in the quarter-finals of the competition, the final phase which will take place from July 20 to 24 in Bologna.


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