2017 FIVB WORLD LEAGUE
- June 2nd-July 8th, 2017
- Event Page
- Round 3, June 16-June 18
- Lotto Arena, Antwerp, Belgium
- Pool I1
Italy takes on France to begin the day in Pool I1 as this match features teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. France has not lost a match and have the maximum 18 points from a 6-0 start. They’ve already clinched a spot in the final six. Italy, on the other hand, is just 1-5 with four points.
A fantastic first two weeks for France was slightly dampened in their final match last week against the U.S. when middle blocker Kevin Le Roux went down with a twisted ankle. However, the good news just keeps rolling for the French side as Le Roux, who has racked up 48 points for France, is available for week three after twisting his ankle against the United States. Add to the positive news that Earvin N’Gapeth has been added to the roster after not appearing in the first two weeks. N’Gapeth has been part of France’s National Team senior roster since 2010.
Italy played a close match with France in the first go around last weekend. They fell 3-1, but even pushed that fourth set to extra points and scored at least 21 in all four sets. It may be a moral win, but it could provide confidence against a French side that hasn’t lost more than one set in a match during this World League. Italy doesn’t have a margin for error anymore too, as they likely need more than six points this week for a chance at the final six, and even then there’s no guarantee.
If France can grab two or more points in the match – meaning a win in any set amount – then they’ll secure a spot in the top three of the Group 1 table. For Italy, a loss wouldn’t totally count them out (at least momentarily), but it would force them to win both remaining matches and hope for plenty of other scenarios to play out that loom unlikely.
Italy vs. France starts at 11:10 Eastern Time in the U.S. and can be seen live here: