France opens home weekend with confident win over Swiss rookies
2012 CEV Volleyball European League - Women
Metz, France, June 28, 2012. France opened the last round of action in preliminary Pool B of the 2012 CEV Volleyball European League – Women in Metz by downing the guests of Switzerland in straight sets (25-20, 25-22, and 26-24) in front of many school pupils and students. This is the fourth consecutive win claimed by the players around head coach Fabrice Vial against the rookies of the European League since the start of the prelims in early June.
Since they are out of contention for the final four coming up next week in Karlovy Vary as Pool leader Bulgaria cruised through the previous rounds by scoring 9 wins in as many games, the home heroines have embarked on their quest to claim all of their home matches to round out their adventure in this competition on a high note. They actually started out the right way on Thursday and will be trying to maintain that good momentum as they play Turkey and Bulgaria in the next couple of days.
After claiming their previous clashes with Switzerland quite easily, the French side probably relaxed a bit and this resulted into a flurry of unforced errors, for a total of 22 vs. 16 for the group mentored by Serbian-born head coach Svetlana Ilic.
After going up 2:0 in sets, France lost focus in the third set with the Swiss going up 16:11. After a tie at 24 all, it was Hélène Schleck that contributed a third match ball that was eventually cashed via an error of Swiss spiker Martina Halter.
“I want to congratulate France on this win. I cannot say that we are disappointed because we still have a lot of work to be done to be able to edge a team like France. My group is just at the start of its adventure and I am happy because since our first matches we have improved in many fundamentals” said Swiss head coach Svetlana Ilic. “We did not play good this afternoon and we need to get rid of these stupid mistakes for the next matches” said France’s team captain Hélène Schleck, best scorer of the day with 15 points.
The next stops will come on Friday with Turkey – that edged France two weeks ago in Izmir – and on Saturday while challenging Pool leader Bulgaria.
In the other match of the day Bulgaria edged Turkey also in straight sets (25-18, 25-22, and 25-18). “By this time we are trying to save energy for the final four and we are testing all of our players and options. It was a good game, Turkey is a young but good team” stated the head coach of Bulgaria, Marcello Abbondanza. “We made many stupid mistakes; we have a young group and hence they still have their ups and downs” commented Turkey’s mentor Edma Gökhan.
Click here for more information, including detailed stats of the matches