France and the United States battled for pool supremacy in 2012, with Team USA needing a final-match victory over Italy to advance to the Final Round, where it finished second.
But it is a new year and the U.S. and France will both bring new teams into their matches on June 14 and 15 at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena in Oklahoma.
The United States, ranked fifth in the world, went 1-1 against Argentina in its first two World League matches in Wichita, Kansas. After losing the first match, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24, the U.S. came back to defeat the South Americans, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-16.
“I think in general, this team has better team chemistry than the team did last year,” U.S. coach John Speraw said. “They are all similar ages. They all know each other really well. Even when things weren’t going very well, I never felt like they were getting down on each other.”
France, ranked 15th in the world, lost its first two World League matches to visiting Bulgaria, 25-21, 14-2, 25-21, 25-22, 15-11 and 26-24, 31-29, 25-20.
“I’ve seen some very interesting and promising things on my side,” France’s coach Laurent Tillie said. “We need to keep our confidence on a high level to continue to improve.”
Outside hitter Matt Anderson led the USA in scoring over the first weekend, finishing with 25 points on 19 kills, three blocks and three aces. Outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth led France against Bulgaria with 28 points on 23 attacks and five aces.
France’s outside hitter Julien Lyneel leads all World League players in spikes with a success percentage of 65.6.
U.S. middle blocker David Lee ranks among the World League leaders on blocks with nine and an average of 1.13 per set.
Ngapeth ranks second among all World League players in aces with an average of .63 per set while U.S. opposite Carson Clark is third with an average of .50 per set.
Anderson is listed second among World League receivers with an efficiency percentage of 71.11. U.S. outside hitter Tony Ciarelli ranks third with an efficiency percentage of 70.45.
To read more news from this competition click on World League 2013 M.