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France complete VNL semifinals puzzle for semis matchup with USA

 

Nicolas Le Goff spikes as France send Serbia packing and set up a semifinal matchup against USA at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Lille.

Lille, France, July 6, 2018 - The final piece of the semifinals puzzle fell into place Friday here in this northern France city Friday night, as France destroyed Serbia to join Russia, USA and Brazil in the last four of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

And with Russia beating USA for top position in Pool B, the semifinals are now set up as follows:

2018 VNL Semifinals (all times local, GMT+2):
• 14:00 - France v USA
• 16:30 - Russia v Brazil

Thibault Rossard and Earvin Ngapeth inspired France to a most convincing 3-0 sweep of Serbia, who just couldn't get a break. In fact, Serbia were already knocked out after they dropped the second set in the game and France completing the win meant they would finish top of their pool.

It was jointly the quickest game in the entire VNL, tying  the record of one hour, twelve minutes which had also been set by France in pool play at Aix-en-Provence against Korea.

At a total of 129 points the game came just three short of the lowest-scoring match in the 2018 VNL - again held by France in their 3-0 win over Russia in pool play at Modena.


Russia's Dmitry Volkov attempts a one-handed to disrupt the set of USA's Kawika Shoji Friday at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League final in Lille.

Russia had earlier in the day swept USA in straight sets. With USA having to play four consecutive matches at these VNL finals, coach John Speraw rested several of his key players ahead of Saturday's semifinal. The subs did put up a fair fight, but they were no match for Maxim Mikhaylov and co.

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