Reigning Olympic champion France took down struggling Germany, 25-16, 25-19, 19-25, 25-21, to bag its fourth consecutive victory in the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Sunday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The win pushed the Frenchmen into the solo lead again at 7-1, as they bagged four straight matches after losing a four-setter against Poland.
France needed to come back in the fourth and final set after going down early. Corre then activated his points of attack before Earvin Ngapeth ended the match with a smart hit.
Ngapeth, who sat out in their match against Japan, top-scored for France with 18 points on 16 attacks and two blocks.
Fellow outside hitter Stephen Boyer, who added 16 markers on 14 spikes, a block, and a service ace, admitted that it was not their best game, but still, a win is a win. The Roosters coughed up 38 errors throughout the short match.
He said, “It is always important to get a good win. I mean, this is not really a good way, but what is important is the victory. And then, we’re going to rest and start the next games in Japan, and just continue how we’re playing.”
It was a nip-and-tuck affair between the two European squads, but France capitalized on Germany’s passing problems to lead by as much as seven, 19-12, with middle blocker Quentin Jouffroy. Eventually, France pocketed the set at 25-16.
In the second set, France succumbed to errors on the service and on the attack as the Germans kept it close heading into the technical timeout. The blue shirts, though, cleaned up their passing lines and attacked better to take the commanding 2-0 advantage in a closer 25-19 scoreline.
France’s wing spikers got most of the sets from Raphael Corre in the first two sets, but it was Quentin Jouffroy, who provided the spark with his non-spiking points. The middle blocker had five points on two blocks and three aces to go along with his single attack point in the first two frames of the match.
France’s miscues in the first two sets took their toll in the third set, especially as Germany snagged the third frame. With the Olympic champions having problems on offense and defense, the Germans took advantage this time to get a set back in the match.
Yacine Louati added 13 points on 11 attacks, one block, and one ace, but it was Jouffroy who was the gamechanger with 12 points on six attacks, three blocks, and three service aces.
The league leaders will try to keep their streak going in Osaka, Japan when they take on the USA (6-1) on July 7 at 12 nn.
Linus Weber was the only German in double digits with 16 points on 14 attacks, one block, and one ace. Middle blocker Lukas Maase added eight markers on five spikes and three blocks.
Germany, which slipped to 3-5, will face the Americans first on July 5 at 3 p.m. to open the Japan leg’s final week.