FIVB - Volleyball World League

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France ends World League with win against Argentina


Another good night for Earvin Ngapeth in a packed Polideportivo Delmi in Salta

Salta, Argentina, July 7, 2013 - After another tight match, France finished the FIVB World League in good shape with a 3-1 victory over Argentina (25-23, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19). 

France relied on Earvin Ngapeth and Mory Sidibe, both with 14 kills, to achieve the victory, while Nicolas Le Goff contributed with 11 points. In Argentina, Pablo Bengolea also had 11 hits and Iván Castellani came from the bench to add 13 points in two sets.

With an even louder crowd in the stands, Argentina rushed to an 8-6 score with some great sparks from Luciano De Cecco, blocking and counterattacking, and Pablo Crer joined after the break with another block to stretch the lead one more point. However, Julien Lyneel unfolded two outstanding one-handed digs and France managed to tie the game at 13-13. A hard serve by Ngapeth placed the visiting side just one point ahead at the second TTO, and the wing spiker successfully spiked at 20-18. The local guys weren’t able to change the tide and France closed the set keeping those two points of advantage.

Boosted with confidence, France stepped ahead in the second chapter, but only by two at the first TTO. Solé showed once again his great blocking skills and leveled the scores at 8-8, and both teams remained close from then on. France had to wait until after the second technical timeout to walk to a 18-15 lead, with a nice counterattack by Ngapeth. Argentina lost its temper and gave a few points away in the end of the set, that France finally nailed five points ahead.

This time, the break between the second and third set didn’t seem to help the home side, as France led calmly to 3-0 and 8-4, with a block by Lyneel. Kevin Le Roux served an ace to widen the gap to five points and the Europeans later on held a 16-12 advantage, but Argentina powered back into the game, with a block from Crer, two bad French spikes and a good one from Castellani, to 18-18. The young opposite built a solid block and Salta fans celebrated the first lead for Argentina in the set, which the local guys didn’t let go. Solé also blocked and Pablo Bengolea finally sealed the set by three.

Argentina was relentless in the fourth set, jumping to 5-0 with a superb performance of Nicolás Uriarte on both setting and serving. France reacted and managed to get closer and closer, but when the Europeans were just one point behind, Solé spiked well and kept a local two-point lead at the second TTO. However, a huge block by Nicolas Le Goff leveled the scores in 16 and France took the opportunity, with Kevin Tillie in good shape for a 20-17 in the board. Argentina fell behind and Le Goff finished the match for France with six points of difference.

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