Pau, France, June 9, 2017 - France were never really troubled by Russia as Stephen Boyer scored 16 points to help the French thoroughly dominate in a commanding 3-1 victory (25-12, 22-25, 25-21, 25-18) on their opening game of the 2017 World League second weekend.
The Chaumont opposite added to his already impressive tally of 47 with a commanding performance to lead Les Bleus to a fourth straight win in this year's edition of the FIVB World League.
It was the French defence that shone most as they managed 14 blocks across four sets, including five for Kevin Le Roux. On the other side of the net, right side hitter Dmitry Volkov's sole performance that yielded 12 points kept Russian heads above water.
France came into the weekend as firm favourites, having dropped just one set in their opening three victories of the 2017 World League season, against Russia in the opening weekend in Kazan.
France started stronlyg as Julien Lyneel was on target with a powerful spike, while Trevor Clevenot doubled the lead after with a strong block. Stephane Boyer added two more points with two well-placed serves that Russia's defence struggled to respond to. France didn't appear in danger and easily took control of the set at 14-8 as they cruised past Russia to win the set 25-12 with seven blocks.
The 2015 World League gold medallists kept on producing wonderful volleyball in a tightly contested second set that. It was nip-and-tuck at the outset but France went aheadat 16-13. Laurent Tillie's men then dropped concentration and allowed Russia to score seven straight points without reponse to give them set point at 24-20 and Dmitry Kovalev scored the set winning point.
The third set started like the first and France got back on track despite Dmitry Volkov's attempts. A deft Clevenot spike give France a seven point lead at 17-10 as Les Bleus took charge once more with Boyer and substitute Thibault Rossard finding their stride to see the home side stroll to a comfortable 2-1 lead by winning the set 25-21).
Two straight Kevin Le Roux aces perfectly launched the fourth and final set for France, but Russia showed their strength and they hit back to draw to within a point at 6-5.
Lyneel and Rossard turned things around despite Sergey Antipkin's dangerous serves and Clevenot and Toniutti added to the French lead as they controlled the end of the match to lead 17-10 after the second technical time out.
Two blocks in row by Le Roux took France to match point, which they won when Boyer produced a clever strike to increase their lead at the top of the table.