France have had plenty to celebrate in the World League so far
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 7, 2017 – France have begun the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League in the sort of form that has made coach Laurent Tillie a happy man, though he is likely to be aware that there is another two weeks of intense action before he can begin to focus on the finals in Curitiba.
France are the only team that is undefeated in Group 1, though Slovenia and Slovakia in Group 2 and Germany and Spain are also yet to taste defeat.
On the opening weekend in Kazan Tillie’s team beat Bulgaria, Russia and Argentina to maintain the type of form that allowed them to qualify for the Italy-Bulgaria 2018, FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship with five victories from five in the final round of European qualifying.
“I am very satisfied with these three straight victories because we managed to stay on the rhythm we had for the World Championship Qualification in Lyon,” Tillie said. “We were certainly tired but still, we stayed focused on the games.
“We played high level volleyball, with few errors and we can be really satisfied with every facet of our play. The service and block was good, but our spiking success was very high, eight percent, thanks to Trevor Clevenot, Julien Lyneel and of course Stephen Boyer.”
France’s rise among the top sides has been rapid and sudden.
In 2014 they finished fourth at the Poland 2014 World Championships, then a year later won World League Group 2 to earn a place in the Group 1 Finals, which they subsequently won a week later.
They were unable to defend their title in 2016, but did finish with bronze. However, they were unable to fulfil their high hopes at the Rio de Janeiro 2106 Olympic Games, where they failed to progress past the pool stage.