|FIVB $15 Million World League
France and Greece reap double victories in week one
Lausanne, March 18 - Passionate home crowds, sparkling on court action and double victories for Greece and France launched the Pool D matches at the weekend as the FIVB's premiere annual contest for men, the $15 Million World League got underway. The remaining three groups that make up the 16-team Intercontinental Rounds join the competition next weekend.
Both home teams, favorite ahead of their ties against the Czech Republic and Japan, thrived on crowd support to double their luck in both matches, at the cost of just one set each in the overall result.
Following Friday night's 3-1 win victory, France overcame a determined and awkward Czech Republic lineup 3-0 on Saturday night in Grenoble while Greece stumbled briefly after their straight sets win on Saturday, allowing one set to Japan in their second encounter.
France, the world championship bronze medallists, had to overcome the twin towers of Michal Rak and Martin Lebl before their stars including captain
Daquin, Laurent Capet and Franz Granvorka led the rout against the World League rookies in their second match. They had stumbled in their opener and allowed the lofty Czechs to steal the opening set of the first match.
French captain Daquin conceded the French did better on the second day.
"The difference was the relationship between the players, we served well and blocked well and very effectively," he said.
In their second encounter, Greece opened with two easy sets, but faltered in the third, following a change of setters.
"Greece is a better and more experienced team and we managed to improve in the second set," said coach Stelios Prosalikas.
Greece looked very strong in both matches, proving that they are a strong side ahead of their home Olympic Games next year and thrived on passionate home support.
All four teams will be joined by the rest of the World League competitors in a full quota of matches next weekend.
Pic: French captain Daquin and teammates reward
supporters after the match in Grenoble. Match
reports. Click here for Spanish/German/French
FIVB $15 Million World League
Early start for Pool D; action
guaranteed in Intercontinental Rounds
Switzerland, May 14, 2003 - The International Volleyball
Federation's premiere annual men's $15 million World
League, kicks off this weekend with two exciting matches
from Pool D, which, for logistical reasons, is starting
one week ahead of the other three pools. World
Championship bronze medallists France clash with World
League rookies the Czech Republic, and Greece, who are
busily shaping their team ahead of the Athens 2004
Olympics, host Japan. More
Click here for Spanish/French