France hangs on to beat Russia at the 2011 CEV Boys’ Youth Championship

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  • France hangs on to beat Russia at the 2011 CEV Boys’ Youth Championship

France hangs on to beat Russia at the 2011 CEV Boys’ Youth Championship

Following a surprising defeat from Spain in the fourth pool-play match, the defending champion French team expressed anger over Russian counterparts. The final match of the first preliminary round brought these two teams together on Thursday, 21st April. The Bestepe Sports Hall in Ankara, Turkey recorded a wonderful fight between two top teams of Pool I of the 2011 CEV Boys’ Youth European Championship. France exhibited a stellar performance and posted 3-1 (25-15, 25-23, 23-25, and 25-23) victory over Russia. The success in crucial match allowed France to reserve a berth in the semi-finals.

First set

France opened the match on a high note. The loss of previous match had taught them a lot of things. Hence, they poised their feet and made a good start in the game. They formed different combos and attacked opponents with a variety of shots. Russia appeared irresistible to the heavy strike of volleys from France and suffered the damage. The French boys came strong on opponents and didn’t waste a single chance to score points. They built a strong lead and added quick points to stretch the gap of points. The Russian team, which had performed amazingly well in the previous four matches, seemed totally out of form in front of the strong rivals. The first set inched its way to the end, while Russia could only help 15 points in the whole set. France secured the opening set with a margin of 10 points and created solid bases to stand on.

Second set

The humiliating defeat in opening set of the game fired up Russians. They improved on reception and hit back strongly.  They targeted the defence line of French team and put away strong spikes. The charged-up French team resisted in full force but couldn’t stop Russia’s score. The exchange of fast spikes created a great vibe in the game and spectators cheered at the players. Both sides played with best of their tactics and struggled to clinch success. After twists and twirls, France managed to extend its lead to 2-0. They captured success in second set with a very close margin of 2 points. However, they didn’t allow Russians to comp up.

Third set

Third set was a complete ball of fury as Russia was rage-more. They were disgusted with loss of second set in a row. They threw everything in attack to seek revenge from French side. On the other hand, France was trying to put an end to the game in third set. Meanwhile, Russia came from back row attack and clipped consecutive points. It gave a lot of confidence to Russians and tried to put pressure on the French side. The formula worked but soon French side grasped the game plan of Russian and came up with appropriate strategy. The suspense and uncertainty was on high stake until the ending moments of the game. Eventually, Russia closed off the set with 25-23.

Fourth set

Third-set win gave a hope to Russia and encouraged them to bring the game to an even point. Fourth set was another spectacular show of volleyball, which fans thoroughly enjoyed. Russia fought bravely but couldn’t avoid the chances of defeat in fourth set. France posted 25-23 and announced match victory. The defending champion France will appear in the semi-final on Sunday, 24th April.


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