France made a rousing debut in Week 2 of the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League with a dominant three-set conquest of the Netherlands, 25-14, 25-23, 25-13, Thursday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The European powerhouse took the provisional lead on the standings with a 5-1 win-loss record.
Opposite hitter Stephen Boyer was solid throughout the rout with 15 points, 11 coming from attacks and four coming from blocks.
“A victory is always good,” the 26-year-old standout said. “And to win in a good way, like we played good volleyball. In the second set, we just found ways to come back and win the set. So, it was a good game, we go home and take a rest and come back after tomorrow.”
France turned its aggression on offense early in the match, and with their attackers clicking, they cruised into the first-set victory, 25-14.
The Netherlands had other plans in the second set and tightened up their defense to keep it close. France, though, used a variety of attacks eventually outwit and outlast the Dutchmen in that nip-and-tuck frame to take the commanding 2-0 lead.
The third set turned out to be another tight affair before France forced the Netherlands to call for a timeout as the former took a 16-12 lead, taking advantage of the latter’s errant passing.
With floor coverage and transition working for them, the reigning Olympic champions wrapped up the set and the win in just three sets.
Middle blocker Berthelemy Chinenyeze provided the spark with 12 markers on 10 attacks, one block, and one ace. Outside hitter Trevor Clevenot and the other middle Nicolas Le Goff added 11 and 10 points each, respectively. Clevenot finished with nine attacks and two service aces, while Le Goff was solid at the net with four attacks and six blocks.
Gluing things together for the Frenchmen was Benjamin Toniutti.
France will take on Japan on June 25 at 3 p.m.
Wing spikers Bennie Tuinstra and Nimir Abdel-Aziz carried the fight for the Netherlands both with 11 points each. Tuinstra ended with seven spikes, three aces, and one block, while Abdel-Aziz finished with 10 attacks and an ace.
The Netherlands, which slipped to 3-3, will battle Argentina next earlier that day at 11 a.m.