French volleyball players are gradually approaching the level that allowed them to win Olympic gold in Tokyo in 2021. On Wednesday July 19, in Gdansk, Poland, they conceded an encouraging defeat in five sets (25-21, 25-18, 17-25, 24-26, 15-9) against the United States in the quarter-finals of the League of Nations.
Beaten dryly by these same Americans during the preliminary round, on July 9, the Habs showed this time a much better face. However, they are eliminated from this prestigious competition which opposes each summer the 16 best teams in the world.
Overwhelmed in the first set by the creativity of the American passer Micah Christenson and by the power of the sharp Matthew Anderson, the Blues struggled to find solutions against the wall formed by the pair Thomas Jaeschke-Max Holt in the defense block. However, they were able to pull themselves together by varying their services to put the Americans in difficulty, which allowed them to return to two sets everywhere.
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More effective on serve and block in the money time, the Americans easily won the tie-break (15-9) to reach the last four. The French volleyball players, who snatched the last qualifying ticket for the Final 8 on the final day of the group stage, thanks to a victory against Germany, were able to raise their level of play to compete with one of the favorites of this competition, which finished first in the regular phase.
The rivalry between the two teams is strong: last year, the Blues beat the Americans in the final of the League of Nations, winning the third League of Nations in their history.
French volleyball players can now devote themselves to preparing for the 2023 European Championship (from August 28 to September 16), their priority objective for the year. They will recover on this occasion their leader, Earvin Ngapeth, left to rest during the League of Nations.
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