FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Year in Review: France create shockwaves with World League title


As part of the end of year series, the Year in Review looks back at France, winners of the 2015 FIVB World League

Lausanne, Switzerland, December 20, 2015 - It's the stuff dreams are made of: Out of Group 2 and straight to Group 1 gold in the 2015 FIVB World League.

After charging through Group 2 and crushing anyone within sight (including a straight-set win over Bulgaria in the group final at Varna), France qualified to the Final Six on a record-breaking 14-0 record. They were certainly the underdogs in Rio 2015, but they extended that record to an astonishing 17-1, losing only to USA in pool play at the Finals.

France's Antonin Rouzier gets the ball past the double Bulgarian block of Nikolay Nikolov and Vladimir Nikolov in the Group 2 final in Varna.

Pool play provided very few surprises - apart from Russia's below-par performance that left them with an appalling 1-11 record at the end of the season. Serbia and Italy joined Final Six hosts Brazil in qualifying from Pool A and USA with Poland followed suit from Pool B.





But there couldn't have been more suspense and grief in the Finals. The two pools both ended in three-way ties at 1-1 for all teams. When the final count was in, hosts Brazil and Italy were out, leaving defending champions USA, plus Poland, Serbia and France to battle it out for gold.







In took two nail-biting five setters in the semis to set up the final and bronze medal matches in Rio 2015. Aleksandar Atanasijevic led Serbia to their first final since 2009 with an astounding 3-2 (25-23, 25-21, 25-27, 20-25, 15-12) over defending champions USA that could easily have ended in straight sets had not Serbia blown a match point in the third.

A little later, France shocked the world as they held off reigning world champions Poland for a 3-2 (25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 22-25, 17-15) win that saw them join Serbia for the final of the World League.



USA found a little consolation in defeating Poland 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-23) to claim bronze, but it was France's unbelievable victory over Serbia 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-23) that sent shockwaves throughout the volleyball world - even prompting congratulations from the President of France himself.






It was undoubtebly Earvin Ngapeth who was the deciding force behind France's dream season - and it was recognised when he was named MVP of the World League Final Six, at the head of the tournament's Dream Team.



But what has gone down in history is Antonin Rouzier's very last point in the final against Serbia: The spike that sealed the gold medal after an incredible rally - true joy to watch, over and over again.


Download highresolution

 Language(s)
   English

| More

More press releases

   
01.02.2016 12:46:38
Sports Events Council reviews successful World League year
Lausanne, Switzerland, February 1, 2016 – The FIVB Sports Events Council reviewed a successful 2015 edition of the World League on the first day of it... More...
24.07.2015 03:51:44
Statistical Review: France claim first ever World League title
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 24, 2015 – France near-perfect season at the FIVB Volleyball World League concluded with a title-winning stint at the fina... More...
22.07.2015 11:33:35
President Hollande lends support to French World League celebrations
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2015 - When France's star smashers wrote a magnificent happy ending to their incredible volleyball fairy tale, even Fr... More...
20.07.2015 15:52:59
Spectacular FIVB World League Finals kick-start Olympic test events for Rio 2016
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 20, 2015 – The FIVB Volleyball World League Finals in Rio de Janeiro have been celebrated as the ideal start to the Rio 2... More...
20.07.2015 10:58:37
World League social media review
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 20, 2015 - As France celebrated their first FIVB Volleyball World League title following victory over Serbia, the social ... More...
19.07.2015 22:00:20
FIVB Volleyball World League Finals Rio 2015 - As It Happened
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 15, 2015 –  Follow the FIVB Volleyball World League Finals Rio 2015 as it unfolded with our live text commentary.... More...
19.07.2015 19:38:04
Belief the key for Toniutti
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 19, 2015 – France celebrated their first FIVB Volleyball World League title, while Serbia had to settle for a third silve... More...
19.07.2015 19:27:21
France prevail over Serbia to claim gold; USA finish third
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 19, 2015 – The final day of the FIVB Volleyball World League at the Maracanazinho Arena featured two straight-set victori... More...
19.07.2015 19:12:15
France’s Earvin Ngapeth leads World League Dream Team
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 19, 2015 – France’s Earvin Ngapeth was a decisive player for the FIVB Volleyball World League winners and recei... More...
19.07.2015 18:09:47
France upset Serbia to claim first World League title
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 19, 2015 – France claimed their first FIVB Volleyball World League title when they defeated Serbia 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-... More...