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FIVB World League 2006
Match Description
Serbia and Montenegro take first victory, but France qualify for the semis

Boskan (SCG) spikes against Antiga and Montmeat of France
As Serbia and Montenegro came out fighting, France's libero Jean-Francois Exiga was forced into some early off-court dives. This did not stop the French team making a beeline for the first technical time-out with a three-point lead. Serbia and Montenegro then drew within one point before France extended with good all-round play before Ljubomir Travica called his first time-out. France extended their lead to seven points after the second technical break, but Philippe Blain was forced to call his players to the bench as Serbia and Montnegro closed the difference to four points. France looked to have the set won before Serbia and Montenegro caught up five points and levelled at 21-21 and then took France by surprise to win the first set 26-24.

France came into the second set with some strong blocking, taking three of their first four points off blocks, including a solo effort by Vincent Montmeat. Frantz Granvorka followed up on his serve with a spike that ricocheted between the Balkan block before dropping to the ground to help take his team one point clear at the first technical time-out. There was nothing to separate the teams in this second set, with France ahead by a slender two-point margin at the second break. Serbia and Montenegro drew level again on the back of spikes by Miljkovic and Vujevic but France replied after a Philippe Blain time-out to wedge the ball between Vujevic's feet. They then lost their slender advantage after three players collided for a reception and allowed Serbia and Montenegro to take the lead as they left a good serve to hand the Balkan side a point. It was then up to France's top scorer to draw his side level after a spike and a block before Travica called his team off at 22-21. This had little effect as the Balkan side only made up one point as France edged ahead to take the set 25-22.

Serbia and Montenegro made their mark on the third set as Slobodan Boskan showed a strong back-court presence to pick off the French attacks and help the team secure a three-point advantage going into the first technical time-out. France countered to draw level with a Sebastien Ruette spike but Serbia and Montenegro had the edge on attacks going into the second break. When his side was ahead by four points, Andrija Geric took advantage of a gap France left on their left to serve an ace. The error spurred Serbia and Montenegro on to win the third set 25-19.

France stepped on court for the fourth set with a will to force yet another tie-break and hope that their experience of the long game so far in the tournament would prevail over Serbia Montenegro. As France held the advantage at 15-18, Philippe Blain brought off the captain to be replaced by the fresh legs of Ludovic Castard, who was rested yesterday, to keep up the pressure. The strategy worked as France pulled two more points clear before Ljubomir Travica called a second time-out in an attempt to rectify the situation. Serbia and Montenegro made a service error after the time-out, only for Castard to send his reply to the back of the court. Philippe Blain's team nevertheless managed to keep their cool to take the fourth set 25-20 and prolong the game for a fifth set.

France made up a 5-2 deficit in the tie-break and then held the score level before giving away the serve as the teams switched ends. The two teams remained level until Serbia and Montenegro took a two-point advantage on a Grbic spike, but France would not let the set go and drew level at 14-14 and held on until 16-16 before a setting error saw the ball pass below the captain Antiga and hit the net, giving Serbia and Montenegro their first victory of the Final Round, 26-24, 22-25, 25-19, 20-25, 18-16.