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Serbia clinch third 2010 FIVB World League victory

Serbia captain Bojan Janic helped lead his side to victory over France
Lyon, France, June 10, 2010 - Serbia clinched their third win from as many matches in the 2010 FIVB World League on Thursday night with a tight 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-23) win over France in Lyon in front of 5,000 spectators.

France, celebrating their return to the city since picking up silver in the 2009 European Championships, could not overcome last year's World League runners-up in front of its home fans in the opening game of the second weekend of the Intercontinental Round.

France started well gaining a quick lead before Serbia fought back regain control. However France came back once more driven by the home fans. However despite the support Serbia finally saw out the set winning four points in a row. Serbia locked out the French spikes early in the second and had the advantage as they went up 13-7. France brought on Benjamin Tonuitti to try and regain control of their setting and he helped bring the deficit down to four points at the second TTO.

Serbia looked like they were storming towards the set victory before Earvin Ngapeth and Guillaume Samica added points for the hosts to bring the set to a dramatic climax. France could have taken the set before Serbia took a time out and won the following two points to take victory. In the third set, Sasa Starovic and Nikola Kovacevic helped see Serbia to another early lead but France were determined to fightback and brought the scores level to 13-13 and later to 16-16 following an Oliver Kieffer block and an ace from the home side. Both teams continued to remain on equal terms before Serbian spiker Starovic took the lead for his side ahead of a time-out.

However in the end the visitors were too strong and took the first of the team's two Pool B games. “We lost against a Serbian team who didn’t make a mistake," France captain Oliver Kieffer said. "On the contrary, we made too many mistakes on important points."

The sides face off once more on Saturday at 18:00 GMT in Grenoble with France hoping to claim their first victory of the tournament.
  

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