Varna, Bulgaria, June 17, 2018 – Coming in as substitutions, Jean Patry and Julien Lyneel spear-headed France’s attack on the way to their 10th victory since the start of the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League season – 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 24-26, 16-14) against Canada.
21-year-old Patry, who came onto the court during the course of the second set, hammered out 20 points to become France’s most prolific player of the match.
Lyneel, who was on France’s playing line-up since the start of the second set, added another 15 rally-winning spikes on the way to the victory.
The best scorer of the match, however, came from the losing side. Canada’s Nicholas Hoag stringed up 23 points, including two stuff blocks and one ace.
Starring players of the calibre of Earvin Ngapeth, Stephen Boyer and Kevin Le Roux, France faced few issues against Canada in the first set. Taking them off court one by one, Laurent Tillie made the match more interesting. The North Americans managed to level the match twice and take it to a fifth set, in which they failed to take advantage of an early three-point advantage to lose it in the money time with France extending their winning streak to six.
Patry scored three of France’s first four points in the tie-breaker, but it was that right-on-time ace that delivered the team’s first break point for 4-5 and started chipping away from Canada’s early lead. Soon the North Americans responded with a 116.4 km/h ace by Arthur Szwarc to extend it back to three at 7-4. It was Patry again who provided the next two break points for France – a monster block for 9-10 and a block-out shot for the 10-10 tie. Another hit off the opponents’ block by Patry brought the European side to match point at 14-13. A great pipe spike by Lyneel set up the next match point for France at 15-14, converted by Jonas Aguenier with a kill block for the win.
France will travel to Modena for the last weekend of the round robin phase, June 22 – 24. In addition to hosts Italy, the French will also meet Russia and USA. Canada will be in Jiangmen to play against Japan, Serbia and hosts China.