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France used a lot middle players and outstanding blocking

Mendoza, Argentina, May 25, 2014 - Improving greatly from the first clash, France achieved another FIVB World League victory over Argentina at Polideportivo Torito Rodriguez in Mendoza. This time, the blue team cruised to a 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-22) to reach Germany atop of Pool D.

Kevin Tille was the most prolific scorer with 15 points, well supported by teammate Antonin Rouzier, who added 13. For Argentina, middle-blocker Gustavo Porporatto was the only player to achieve double numbers, with 10 tallies.

With this win, France got leveled with Germany as the leading teams at Pool D, both with 5 points. Argentina dropped to 0-2 and now share position with Japan, also having one single point.

Argentina pulled out another fancy start in Mendoza led by Rodrigo Quiroga, forcing a French TO at 7-3. Even though France rebuilt their attack, the gap settled to 11-7 and the home team relied on Federico Pereyra and Gustavo Porporatto to advance to 15-11. France strengthened on blocking once again and leveled at 15-15, creating a terrific scenario towards the end. Pereyra kept Argentina ahead, while France answered with Lafitte and Rouzier in good shape. The board remained tied until 24-24, when Rouzier nailed a counterattack and Tillie served an ace for a 26-24.

Once again, France built a solid lead with their blocks, using Lafitte and Tillie to establish an 8-6 score. Tillie blocked again at 11-7 and both teams used the middle of the net to spike from then on, with Lafitte, Le Goff and Porporatto appearing several times (13-10). Another ace, this time from Rouzier, gave the visiting side some higher ground at 16-10, and Rouzier shone again at 19-11. Argentina became more resilient in defence, but the French advantage simply proved to be too big. Tillie smashed the 23-18 and, after a local TO, two consecutive blocks over Pereyra finished the set by 25-18.

Trying to build a comeback, Conte entered the court as opposite player and, even though France continued to show some great skills in block and attack, Argentina managed to stay at range to 6-5 and 11-11. However, France remained unbreakable in blocking and also attacked effectively to lead by 16-14 in the second TTO. Nicolas Marechal widened the gap with a counterattack (20-17), Tillie spiked the 22-19 and, although Argentina got closer with Conte (23-21), Tillie repeated until the very end, by 25-22.

Next weekend while Argentina will face Germany in Salta, France will face the bottom team of Pool D, Japan.

Press Conference:

Javier Filardi, Argentina captain: "It wasn't a good game for us. We had our chance in the first set, with a good lead, but we couldn't and we lost some courage. We couldn't play as a team, which is our main feature, and we have to work very hard on that."

Benjamin Toniutti, France captain: "It was a very intense game. After we achieved the comeback in the first set, we kept calm and I felt like Argentina became a little nervous. We're very happy to come back home with back-to-back victories."

Julio Velasco, Argentina coach: "We experienced problem on the attack once again, that's the first thing we need to solve. Besides, our serves weren't as good as yesterday, and France played much more with their middle-blockers. We felt the pressure when they played better than us; we couldn't wait and defend on the moments they didn't play so well."

Laurent Tillie, France coach: "We were ready for a big fight tonight. We changed our service and blocking during the game and that worked for us. I'm proud about the way we received, we controlled the ball as Argentina did yesterday, and that made things much easier for us."

(FIVB World League 2014 - Official Website)
(Photos FeVA)