EuroVolley Match Of The Day: Defending Champs France Face Belgium

  0 Carly DeMarque | August 25th, 2017 | European volleyball, International Volleyball, News


Pool D’s first day of matches features the 2017 FIVB World League champions and the 2015 CEV European Champions, France, who will take on Belgium who finished in 10th place in the last edition of the event.

The two teams squared off in week three of the World League, with France taking a dominant 3-0, (25-21, 25-16, 25-16) win over Belgium.

France brings in a strong lineup, with a number of players returning from the World League roster that won. Headlining is Earvin N’gapeth, who was the World League MVP and led the field in scoring in the finals series. N’gapeth was absent, though, for the first two week of preliminary play due to an injury. Also returning is Stephen Boyer, who led all players in scoring in the preliminary rounds of the World League and came in second in the finals. The team’s top middle blocker, Kevin Le Roux is also featured on the lineup, expected to make a big impact on the net for the team defensively.

France has had a lot of success in the past at the CEV European Championship, having won four silver and two bronze medals before their gold over Slovenia in 2015. The team is expected to do well as they are continuing to build up their kinship under head coach Laurent Tillie.

Belgium, on the other hand, struggled throughout the World League this summer, coming in seventh place in the preliminary phase, just out of reach of the final with a 4-5 record. The Belgium team lost out on the sixth spot based on a sets ratio, which the USA team surpassed them in 1.187 to 0.947. Leading the way for Belgium will be Bram Van Den Dries, who finished the World League ranked fourth in points scored with 133 on 120 kills, nine blocks and four aces.

In the inaugural tournament, Belgium posted their best finish in 1948, and in 2013 the team posted a 7th place finish, their highest since the start of the competition.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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