Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 19, 2015 – France claimed their first FIVB Volleyball World League title when they defeated Serbia 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-23) at the Maracanazinho Arena on Sunday. Their previous best was silver in 2006.
For Serbia it is further final heartbreak. It is now the third time that they have lost the World League final and they also lost twice when competing as Serbia and Montenegro.
France qualified for the final six after winning Group Two a week ago. This year they lost just once; 3-1 to the USA in the Final Group pool play. Antonin Rouzier and Earvin Ngapeth led the team in the gold medal match with 17 and 16 points respectively, while Aleksandar Atanasijevic scored 10 for Serbia.
In the first set France were soon 5-0 ahead with spikes from Ngapeth and Rouzier. Serbia drew level at 7-7 after some good attacking play by Atanasijevic. France managed to maintain a comfortable lead through the set and took a 1-0 lead when Ngapeth hammered against the block.
The second set started in a more competitive vein and France stayed 8-7 ahead mainly thanks to Serbia’s poor serving. Le Roux’s ace put France 16-14 ahead and they held the advantage to win the set thanks to good spiking from Rouzier.
Serbia’s Uros Kovacevic started the third set strongly, but France’s attack was working well and meant neither team could open a lead. Serbia tried their best to fight back, but France’s slick defence allowed them to close out the match with their first set point to secure a historic day for French volleyball.
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