USA win to advance top with France, while Brazil go out


Erik Shoji and Taylor Sander celebrate a point

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 17, 2015 – Defending FIVB Volleyball World League champions USA topped Pool L after a 3-1 (25-21 , 25-22 , 24- 26 , 25-20)  win over France at the Maracanãzinho  Arena on Friday that ensures both teams proceed to the semifinals on Saturday.

However, the result means that Brazil go out of the tournament, despite all three teams having the same record. On Wednesday France beat Brazil 3-1, but on Thursday Brazil beat the USA 3-1, however the hosts go out as they have an inferior point’s ratio to the USA and France. 

The first set started with both teams scoring point by point. France jumped out ahead, but three Micah Cristenson serves brought the score level at 15-15. Taylor Sander led the USA attacks, where the block was especially effective and they reached set point at 24-20 when Earvin Ngapeth scored for France to keep the set alive. However, Kevin Le Roux missed serve and the US had the first set 25 to 21.

At the second set it was the same story, both teams playing well, keeping a tight score and forcing the serves. Eventually the US defence and counter-attack began to make the difference and Sander added a further six points to the six he scored in the first set.

After an early US flurry to stretch to a 7-1 lead France fought back and tied at 20-20 and then 24-24. Matthew Anderson missed a reception before Antonin Rouzier scored to bring up set point which was converted by Ngapeth.

In the final set the US’s power overcame France’s block and they closed out the match 25-20, much to the disappointment of the Brazilian crowd.

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