Top scorers Boyer and Sander to meet when World League resumes


Top scorer Stephen Boyer of France attacks against the USA block of David Smith and Micah Christenson earlier this month, as the two teams prepare to come head-to-head for a second time this year.

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 29, 2017 - France opposite Stephen Boyer has been consistently netting over 18 points per match this season - and the top scorer of the 2017 FIVB World League Group 1 after the Preliminary Round is coming back for more as the competition resumes next week with the Final Six at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, a stadium which hosted matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

But Boyer, who topped the best scorers list on 165 points (135 kills, 13 stuffs and 17 aces) is up against another scoring machine of this world on the very first day of Final Six pool play. France, the 2015 champions, meet USA, the 2014 champions, and the latter will be led by Taylor Sander, who was third in the list on 146 points (118 kills, 15 stuffs, 13 aces).

Bulgaria's Tsvetan Sokolov was second best scorer in the Preliminary Round with 147 - but his side came just short of a berth in the Final Six.

Taylor and Sander were each featured in 'Player of the Week' videos this season, after another Frenchman, Julien Lyneel, dominated Week 1.

France and USA will be meeting for the second time this season, after the reigning European champions beat the North Americans 3-1 in Pau earlier this month.

USA will also be featuring the third best blocker of the Preliminary Round, David Smith, who packed 23 stuffs in nine matches, or .66 per set played. The American middle blocker trailed Bulgaria's Nikolay Nokolov (.74 per set and 25 blocks in total) and Russia's Ilyas Kurkaev (.71 and also 25 in total).

In addition to leading the scorers after the Preliminary Round, Boyer is also ahead in the best servers list. The 21-year-old served 17 aces - or .52 per set played, ahead of Russia's Dmitry Volkov (.43 and 15 in total), and Brazil's joint thirds Mauricio Souza and Ricardo Lucarelli (.39 and 14 each).

Brazil, hosts of the Final Six, will open play on Tuesday against Canada - ahead of the France v USA game - at the open air court set up in the Arena de Baixada football stadium.

Arena de Baixada in Curitiba all dressed-up to welcome the Final Six of the 2017 FIVB World League.

And the Rio 2016 Olympic champions will also be fielding a host of players who starred in the Regular Season, including best receiver Mauricio Borges and best setter Bruno Rezende.

The Brazil v Canada game, though, will be a battle between the best two receivers of the Preliminary Round. On the opposite side of the net from Borges (65.83 per cent efficiency) will be John Gordon Perrin, who was second in the receivers list on 53.25 per cent.

Get the full individual stats of the Regular Season here.

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