USA's blocking stopped France and was the key to their victory in Rome.
Rome, Italy, October 4, 2010 - Olympic champions USA overpowered France in straight sets 25-16, 25-14, 25-23 to open the third round Pool O of the 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship at Palalottomatica in the Italian capital.
In what was an awesome display from the No3 ranked team in the world, Clayton Stanley scored 14 points, including four blocks and four aces, while Sean Rooney and David Lee both scored 11 points and Reid Priddy contributed 10. France, ranked 12th in the world, had no answer to USA's power and precision. Gerald Hardy-Dessources brought home nine points for Les Tricolores including five blocks, while Stephane Antiga added nine points.
FIVB Men's World Championship 2010 official page
The convincing win was USA's 13th in 20 matches against France and gives them a strong chance of finishing at least eighth in the tournament – depending on other results in the group – which would represent their best finish at the FIVB Men's World Championship since 1994 when they finished third. The Americans out-blocked France 17-7 with Lee compiling five blocks and Priddy four, while also dominating the serving with a 5-1 advantage in aces.
Right from the opening whistle, the Stars and Stripes started superbly, racing to a 5-1 lead thanks to Stanley's lightning serve. After the first TTO, France attempted to claw their way back but struggled to contain the impressive Stanley who dominated with his serving and spiking. Hardy-Dessources's attempt to attack and block proved worthless as the United States wrapped up the first set 25-16. Middle blocker Lee supported Stanley superbly with four spikes down the middle.
The change of court in the second set seemed to energise the French who managed to keep pace with the US and arrived at the first TTO only three points behind at 8-5. Yet Priddy and company continued to execute a series of blocks which allowed the US to overwhelm their opponents and bring home the second set 25-14. France's reception improved from 53% to 74% in the set but Alan Knipe's men improved even more from 67% to 90%.
The third set opened with a 5-4 lead for Philippe Blain's team but the physical dominance of USA and the blocking 'trio' of Stanley, Priddy and Lee formed an insurmountable obstacle. With the score at 19-16, Knipe called a timeout and USA re-entered to win three consecutive points to virtually wrap up the match. Some flashes of inspiration from Oliver Kieffer and Antiga helped France reduce the deficit but it was too little, too late.