FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

France beat Poland in five sets for a clean sweep


Rafael Redwitz sets to Nicolas Le Goff

Toulouse, France, June 23, 2013 - Two matches, 10 sets, two different cities, but the same result. France earned its second victory in a row, defeating Poland after a long and uncertain match Sunday night in Toulouse. 

Winner in five sets Friday night in Rouen, France needed 2 hours and 28 minutes to beat Poland in a solid and clean tie-break. On Friday night, France had to overcome a delicate situation in the fourth set to stay alive, and eventually win. In Toulouse, on Sunday night, France led almost the entire match to beat an inconsistent Polish team 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-13).

The result was the same: two victories in five sets. But Benjamin Toniutti, France’s captain and first setter, said after the game, "winning tonight was even harder than for the first game. We had to draw from our resources. Poland won the World League last season,  so the team has extra pressure. They looked nervous tonight."

As a matter of fact, Poland was nervous. They tried to play the way they like, using a solid serve, offense and block to knock France down. But the Polish had to fight a French team that was patient and well organized on defense. Laurent Tillie, France’s head coach, said while looking at the stat sheet, "we were able to win tonight with only six blocks. Poland had 16."

With no victories after their four first matches, against Bulgaria and Team USA, the French looked close to giving up. "But now our confidence is at a top level," said Earvin Ngapeth after the tie-break. Like his team, the young wing-spiker had a bad start in this World League. But he used the two matches against Poland to recover and to get back to playing his style of volleyball. Ngapeth was the best scorer twice, including 26 points on Saturday.

On the Polish side, Zbigniew Bartman finished the game as best scorer with  23 points (for 61 attacks).

France will need some rest before traveling to Brazil. They will play two games in two days, on June 28 and 29. "We are still learning," said Laurent Tillie. But they hope to learn fast.


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