Euro volleyball: Serbs Break French Dream in Semi-Final


The French failed in their career during the semifinal of the Volleyball Euro against the Serbs in Paris-Bercy. “I do not know how to explain it,” regretted the coach.

The French volleyball players saw their title dream come to an end in the semi-finals of the Euro-2019 against Serbia on Friday night at Paris-Bercy , and will have to settle for the fight for the bronze medal on Saturday (18.00) against Poland.

Hitherto impeccable especially against some strong nations of European volleyball (Bulgaria and Italy), Laurent Tillie’s Bleus have lost 3 sets to 2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 17-25, 15- 7), leaving the Serbs to play in the final of the European Championship against Slovenia on Sunday (5:30 pm) in Bercy.

The Blues have stammered their game at the worst time, on the last step before the final, which guarantees a podium in case of victory. According to the French coach Laurent Tillie, at the end of the meeting.

“We have the impression that we collapsed on the tie-break. They imposed on us their attack power. Ngapeth was not enough. Technically and physically, they were stronger than us. “

” I do not know how to explain it “

Since the beginning of the Euro, he repeated to the envy that “it remains sport” and that it is always possible to lose against stronger. On the other hand, he did not want to have any regrets or spoil a golden opportunity.

“I do not know how to explain it (this defeat). I am disappointed … We gave everything. It was amazing tonight, but we did not manage to have the little trick to win, “commented the microphone of the channel L’Equipe Julien Lyneel, author of 14 points Friday.

Friday, his players fell on a Serbian team that has gradually taken the measure of the French attack, after a first set to the advantage of the Blues.

“We could not find the solutions in attack. Still, it’s not a bad match … it’s played on a tie-break. It’s a shame, “said Lyneel.

However, this home tournament had been cleared two scarecrows of the competition – Russia and Poland respectively eliminated in quarter and semi-final by Slovenia.

French coach Laurent Tillie defeated by Serbia in semi-final volleyball match on September 27, 2019.
French coach Laurent Tillie defeated by Serbia in semi-final volleyball match on September 27, 2019. (© AFP / MARTIN BUREAU)

Stand up for the bronze

Stéphen Boyer, who had been dazzling in the quarterfinals against Italy, quickly found himself in difficulty with the 16-man Serb defense and was less accurate in service (5 errors).

The masterpiece of the star of the team, Earvin Ngapeth (29 points) will have ignited the 12,574 spectators of Bercy, as well as the burst of the fourth set, but all this will not have been enough to offer a new continental final.

The failure of the tie-break, conceding the first five points of the round sealed the fate of the match, with Ngapeth physically blunt after four sets of very high class, he was injured early in the tournament.

It is finally on a new fault in the service of Stéphen Boyer that the Serbs validated their ticket for the final.

Finishing fourth, “we think we did a competition almost for nothing, like the team that finished last,” said the French libero Jena Grebennikov, before the semifinal.

It will be necessary to put the blue jersey less in 19 hours, which is more against Poland, double world champion in title (2014 and 2018) and who could not do anything against Slovenia Thursday in the semifinal.

The Blues will very quickly reduce their disappointment, especially since they have had a day to recover less than the Poles, who spent the day Friday to join the capital quietly.

A podium on Saturday, the eighth in the history of French volleyball in the European Championship, would mitigate the disappointment of being missed a huge opportunity to shine at home, after almost perfect benefits on their first seven outings.

The Serbs beat the French 3-2 in the semifinal of the Euro volleyball on September 27, 2019
The Serbs beat the French 3-2 in the semifinal of the Euro volleyball on September 27, 2019. (© AFP / MARTIN BUREAU)

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