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08. 07. 2018

VNL F6 M: Russian machine grinded out gold medal over France in front of 10,000 spectators!

Source: volleyball.world, twitter.com/FIVBVolleyball; Photo: volleyball.world

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Russia finished the Final Six with a perfect 4-0 record to snatch the gold medal in an inaugural edition of the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League!

 

The well-oiled Russian machine grinded out a 3-0 victory over Final Six hosts France in front of 10,164 spectators at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille to seize the first-ever Nations League gold medal, partially 25-22, 25-20, and 25-23.

The „Les Bleus“ bumped into relentless Russian side who finished off Final Six campaign with an impressive 4-0 record (lots only one set!). The current CEV European Championship winners dictated the pace in all three sets, forcing Laurent Tillie’s protégés to chase the score throughout the entire match.

The opening set was marked by two super-aces, the one from France’s outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth (120 km/h) and the other one from Russia’s Egor Kliuka (126 km/h). Russians broke away at 10-5 and, furthermore, at 19-11. Thanks to a strong service and more accurate attacks, France came to 21-23. Russia’s superb attack (71%) in the first set finished the job in their favor (25-22).

The „Zbornaya“ went 8 points ahead in the second set (15-7) before France made the audience crazy by reducing a deficit to only one point (21-20). Dmitriy Muserskiy and Dmitriy Volkov managed to pave the way for Russia toward clinching the second set (25-20).

France went for all or nothing in the third set (16-13) and came to a whisker from winning it when Ngapeth blocked Muserskiy (22-20). But, Stéphen Boyer hit the ball out of bounds at 23-23 to give Russia the first match ball which Dmitriy Kovalev converted with a massive block on Thibault Rossard (25-23).

 

Unstoppable Maksim Mikhailov top-scored for Russia with 19 points (74% attack, 2 blocks, and 3 aces) while Earvin Ngapeth poured in 16 points for France.

The United States clinched the bronze medal.

 

To see complete results, stats, and standings, visit our FIVB Volleyball Nations League 2018 / Male / Seniors page.

 

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