Home » VNL M: Olympic champions France dominate European champions Italy; Poland sweeps Argentina on Grbić’s debut on bench

VNL M: Olympic champions France dominate European champions Italy; Poland sweeps Argentina on Grbić’s debut on bench

by WoV

The France National Team got off to an ideal start in the 2022 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League with a new head coach on its bench. So, did Poland, also with the new head coach.

France vs Italy (Photo: en.volleyballworld.com)

By prevailing over Italy in Ottawa, Canada, in its first match in the 2022 FIVB Men’s VNL, 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-19), the Olympic champions France victoriously set off the campaign in the event that precedes the World Champs at the end of August. ‘Les Bleus’ will play against another big rival in the next match in Pool 2, Serbia. For his debut on the bench of the France National Team in an official competition, which was against an Italian team of which he was the big star in the 90s, notably winning 3 consecutive world championship titles from 1990 to 1998, Andrea Giani was gifted by his protégés with a beautiful and clear victory over the reigning European champions. In the absence of certain starters, exempted from the trip to Canada (Benjamin Toniutti, Jénia Grebennikov, Nicolas Le Goff, and Trévor Clevenot), the Giani was still able to compose a squad with a lot of Olympic champions from Tokyo, introducing a starting six with 5 of them. ‘Les Bleus’ dominated the 3rd set against a renewed ‘Azzurri’ formation compared to that which was crowned continental rulers last September, but the first two were tight. The Olympic champions, for their part, mostly relied on Barthélémy Chinenyeze (13 points, including 5 blocks).

The current world champions Poland had a successful start in this year’s VNL. The ‘red and whites’ defeated the current Olympic bronze medalists Argentina without losing a set, although not without having to fight hard for that in each of the sets. Poland didn’t go to Ottawa in the strongest lineup. Among others, Bartosz Kurek and several starters of Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle, which won the CEV Champions League at the end of May, are absent. However, a Serbian expert on the Polish bench, Nikola Grbić, had a victorious debut. Tomasz Fornal highlighted Poland with 14 points.

Brazil set off on the right foot in its first encounter in the VNL 2022. No scares. This is how the match of the ‘Seleção’ in front of its own crowd in Brasília, in Pool 1, can be best described. Playing without Leal and injured Lucarelli, the Brazilian team beat Australia in 3 effortless sets. Alan Souza stepped up to lead his side to a win with 18 points. Flávio Gualberto made 4 blocks.

Yuji Nishida’s outstanding performance in Japan’s first confrontation in the Volleyball Nations League 2022 transformed the course of the match, as the Asians took advantage of their opponents’ mistakes to make a stirring comeback against the Netherlands in Brasília, making the odds of sbobet, one of Asia’s top online bookies, placed on them as big favorites justified. After surrendering the first set, the Japanese found their finest rhythm and rallied, winning 3-1 (22-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-17) in their maiden match of the competition this year. Nishida, who earned a match-high 25 points, outscored Dutch opposite hitter Nimir Abdel-Aziz, the highest scorer in last year’s VNL, who had 18 points for ‘Oranje’. Yuki Ishikawa was huge in blocking (5 blocks) for the team from the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’.

2022 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League – preliminary stage, Week 1, Day 1:

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