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France lose no steam, cruise to title in Varna and on to Final Six in Rio

 
Varna, Bulgaria, July 11, 2015 – France continued their unprecedented winning streak in the FIVB Volleyball World League on to the Group 2 final against Bulgaria and booked the last remaining vacancy at the Finals of Group 1 in Brazil.  With the count now officially standing at 14 consecutive victories, the French are already looking forward to extend this run even further in Rio de Janeiro.

Despite a totally overpacked with noisy home fans competition hall in Varna, the French shut out Bulgaria by 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-21) making use of the nine aces they scored in the final against none from the home side.  ”It is never easy to play in Bulgaria and lose here all the time, but today we played amazing,” exclaimed an elated Benjamin Toniutti.  More...

Earlier on Saturday evening, Argentina claimed the third place in Group 2 after a disputed match against Belgium, which Julio Velasco’s team won by 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 18-25, 15-11).  ”For us it was hard to play after yesterday’s defeat,” the legendary coach admitted.  ”But it was psychologically important for us to win.”  More...

Key Points

• This was France’s first World League against Bulgaria since 2006.

• France will join Italy, Poland, Serbia, USA and host Brazil in the Group 1 finals in Rio de Janeiro from July 15 through 19.

• France are unbeaten in their last 14 World League matches (all this season), their longest winning streak ever in the competition.

• France have kept their status as the only unbeaten team left in the 2015 World League.

• France did not lose any sets in Varna, so they have kept their record of sets conceded at 499 sets and have yet to become the sixth team to lose 500 sets in World League history.

• Belgium and Argentina played their first ever World League match against each other, so the record now stands at 1-0 victories in favour of the South Americans.  This was also their first encounter in any major competition.

• Belgium’s Sam Deroo was the best scorer of Group 2 with a total of 244 points, followed by his teammate Gert Van Walle with 205 and Finland’s Urpo Sivula with 193.

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