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France beats Belgium 3-1 in World Championship warm-up

French coach Laurent Tillie gave debuts to two young players against Belgium
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 13, 2017 – The French men's team began preparing for their upcoming World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Lyon by beating Belgium in four sets (25-15, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19) on Saturday night in Tours.

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Eleven days before the start of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (May 24-28), the French men’s team clashed with Belgium in their first outing of this year’s long international season.

For the first match, Laurent Tillie’s France lineup included Thibault Rossard, Kevin Le Roux, Nicolas Le Goff, Benjamin Toniutti, Earvin Ngapeth and Trevor Clevenot.

Les Bleus dominated the two initial sets (25-15, 25-19), thanks in particular to Earvin Ngapeth (13 points in the first two sets) and Kevin Le Roux (six points). After this good start, the coach made a lot of changes, including debuts for youngsters Barthelemy Chinenyeze and Daryl Bultor, and bringing in Guillaume Quesque, Antoine Brizard, Julien Lyneel and Jean Patry.

Under the leadership of Sam Deroo (10 points) and Gert Van Walle (12 points), Belgium got back into the game by winning the third set (22-25), but the European champions regrouped and were helped by some strong blocking (eight in the fourth set, 14 in total, including four for Guillaume Quesque), as they took the fourth set 25-19.

“We played a very serious game with a lot of quality in the service/ block,” Tillie said. “And the introduction of the youngsters was very interesting and very promising. In this new cycle, we want to find a good blend of the old and new.”

France men’s team international schedule:
May 24-28: World Championship Qualifiction Tournament
June 2-July 8: FIVB World League
August 25-September 3: European Championship
September 12-17: FIVB World Grand Champions Cup

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