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2024 VNL Season

France dominates Iran in straight sets, edges closer to VNL Top 8

France convincingly secured a bounce-back win with a 25-21, 25-17, 25-20 sweep, ending Iran’s run in Week 3 action of the 2024 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League on Friday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Roosters inched closer to securing a place in the Top 8 with a 7-3 win-loss record, while the Asian side remained in 15th place with a 2-9 record.

With Antoine Brizard back to orchestrate the French offense, Jean Patry continued his stellar performance – especially in the third and final set where Iran, led by captain Milad Ebadipour, tried to mount a comeback and leveled the frame at 13.

Patry and Trevor Clevenot combined for 10 points, with each scoring five in the final push.

Clevenot ended the match for the 2022 VNL champions.

“After the game against Germany, we were a bit disappointed. So, it was important for us to win the game today and to play a good match. It was a good result for us and we’ll continue to do the work,” said the 27-year-old opposite spiker Patry.

Patry finished with 15 points on 12 attacks, two blocks, and an ace. He was impressive from the opening set, scoring seven points and setting the tone for the reigning Olympic champions against the in-form Iranians.

With its service game on point, disrupting the offensive system of the Iranians, France capitalized on their opportunities in transition if the delivery did not result in a service ace.

The defense also proved crucial for the Europeans, anchored by seasoned libero Jenna Grebbenikov, as his 25 digs throughout the match led to efficient attacks for the squad.

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Clevenot added 12 points, including a five-point burst in the third set, on 11 kills and one block.

Meanwhile, Yacine Louati chipped in nine points, one of which came in the same frame to put France at a comfortable 20-15 cushion.

France will take on Japan on Saturday at 7:00 PM at the same Pasay arena in a likely battle for positioning in the tournament’s Final Round.

Iran, playing its third match in as many days, showed some resilience despite fatigue, with skipper Milad finishing with 10 points, all from attacks.

Nonetheless, the 30-year-old captain was the only one with double figures. Amin Esmaeilnezhad was limited to nine points after scoring 29 points the previous day against the Netherlands.

Iran gets its well-deserved rest before ending its 2024 VNL season against Germany (4-6) on Sunday at 11:00 AM.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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