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World League 2003 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

France beat Czech Republic 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-17) - duration 1:46
16-May, start time: 20:00, end time: 21:46 - Attendance: 4,472
France opens their 2003 WL account with a 3-1 win over Czech Republic
France recovered from a slow start against the Czech Republic on Friday night to then gather strength and take the next three sets to close out their opening world League account 3-1 on Friday evening in Grenoble.
The Czechs seized an early initiative but after steaming through the first set with superior spiking then hanging on for a 23-25 close second set encounter, they ran out of steam and allowed the home side to control the remaining two sets.
With the French dominating the block and Laurent Capet in fine form to drive home 20 points for the French, they went on to on wrap up the remaining two sets 25-19 and 25-17 and se the stage for Saturday's return encounter. Top scorer for the match was Dalibor Polak, who topped Capet by one point.
Czech coach Pavel Rerabek said he regretted the team had only a short five day preparation. "Today it was not possible for us to follow the French rhythm," he said. His French counterpart Philippe Blain expressed pleasure with young players Jean Charles Monneraye and Philippe Barca-Cysique and used captain Dominique Daquin's power to perfection in the crucial third set.
"I'm very satisfied by the French game, especially by the young players Monneraye and Barca-Cysique," Blain said. "We made a choice in regard of the very physical Czech players, especially Lebl, then we started to control the situation.
/mh