The Blues end on a setback

After three wins in their first three Nations League outings, the Blues capped off their week in Ottawa with a four-set loss to reigning two-time world champions Poland.

The Blues do not leave Ottawa with a clean sheet. Fallers of Italy, Serbia then Canada for their debut in the League of Nations, Andrea Giani’s players concluded their trip to Canada with a loss against the reigning double world champion, Poland. After a standoff in the first eight exchanges, Earvin Ngapeth’s teammates took off on the scoreboard thanks to a series of eight points won consecutively, giving the Habs a mattress of nine lengths. Gradually, Nikola Grbic’s players closed the gap but never got closer to less than three lengths. On their third set point, the Olympic champions took the lead in this encounter. The second set started in the same way, with the Blues breaking away after an indecisive start. But this time, the Poles were able to stay in contact before taking control. A 5-1 allowed Bartosz Kwolek’s teammates to take the lead. Catchy, the Blues saved three equalizing balls in one round everywhere but the fourth was the good one.

Poland overthrew the Blues

The two teams were then neutralized for a long time at the start of the third set. For a long time, the maximum difference was two points. However, Poland stepped up their game with a 9-2 that allowed them to pull out a significant gap. Andrea Giani’s players, not determined to give up without a fight, then closed in little by little, reducing the gap to just two lengths. But, with a 3-1 to conclude, the Poles took the lead in this meeting. Back to the wall, the Blues took things in hand at the start of the fourth set but the gap could never swell and did not exceed two small points. On contact, Nikola Grbic’s players waited until the very last moment to strike. Scoring four consecutive points, the Poles took the lead on the scoreboard in the “money time” of this fourth round. If the first match point was discarded, the second put an end to the debates (25-21, 22-25, 21-25, 22-25). With this victory, the third in four games, Poland returns to level with the Blues in the general classification of the League of Nations behind the United States, the only team undefeated at the end of this first week.

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
France – Canada: 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-21)

Day 4 – Sunday June 12, 2022
FrancePoland : 1-3 (25-21, 22-25, 21-25, 22-25

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

#Blues #setback

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