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Rouzier one of the top scorers of France against Conte's blocking

Mouilleron le Captif, France, June 27, 2014 — Argentine Seniors’ won a terrific tie-breaker after losing 1-2 in French soul v the leader of Pool D closing the first match of the last weekend of the Intercontinental Round of the FIVB World League 2014 by 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-13) to obtain one of the needed victories. Nicolas Marechal was the top scorer of the game for France with 22 points, just ahead of his teammate Antonin Rouzier (21 points). Federico Pereyra had 16 points for Argentina, and Facundo Conte scored 15 points.

Pool D is all excitement and the final result will be known with Sunday's last match. Argentina defeated France to stay in the race for FIVB World League Group 2 Final Four promising rivalry intensity on the last match of the Intercontinental Round for them this Sunday in Paris. The host team of France could lose even by 2-3 but Argentina needs a 3-0 or 3-1 to top Pool D as the leadership of the French team stands only two points ahead of the South American team.

In the first set, none of the teams managed to get the upper hand before the second technical time-out. They tied at the 17-17 before a 4-0 run by Argentina, concluded by a spike by Facundo Conte. The Argentinians, who played with more efficiency in defense, especially in the blocking category, won the set by 25-20.

The French were off to a better start in the second set, taking a 5-2 with some powerful serves from Nicolas Maréchal. France extended their lead to five points at 12-7, before Argentina recovered to close the gap to one point (15-14). But the home team managed to speed up the rhythm and claim this set by 25-19, on a spike by Kevin Tillie.

And the Argentinians continued to struggle with their serve in the third set, where the squad directed by Laurent Tillie never trailed. After quickly jumping to a 14-7 lead, "les Bleus" had eight set balls and concluded on their second opportunity to won this set by 25-17. France had the chance to end the game in the fourth set, but the Argentinians didn’t give up and capitalized on their opponents’ mistakes to tie the game and win the set (25-20). And despite the home support from the Vendespace, the Frenchmen couldn’t regain their energy and let the tiebreaker slip 13-15.

Press Conference:

Laurent Tillie, France coach:"It was a good fight, but we made too many mistakes. We wanted to finish the match too quickly. Argentina played very good and we were not able to keep the ball. We missed patience. But this will make a good final in Paris."

Benjamin Toniutti, France captain:"We lacked intensity in the fourth set. We made several mistakes on our serve, and it continued in the fifth set. I think we gave six points on our serves in the tiebreaker. It is difficult to win like that. But we faced a pretty good Argentinian team. The goal was to win one game this weekend. We lost one today, but we had opportunities to win. We will now try to move on in order to get this victory on Sunday.

Julio Velasco, Argentina coach:"Our first goal was to have the possibility to win and to go to Paris to play a final, and the second one was to learn from this kind of matches because we lost both matches against France in Argentina. After that, I think the team improved some things. We should learn from these matches and we did. We lost our concentration at the beginning of the second set. We need to learn that with this kind of teams, we cannot do this. But the team was good to enter the match in the fourth and fifth sets where we did less mistakes than France — that was the reason why we won the tie-break."

Javier Filardi, Argentina captain:"We played well today. And we are very satisfied with this victory. But it will be a whole different game on Sunday."

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