VNL: Final 1st place. France is champion! United States beaten in the fifth set


VNL: Final 1st place.  France is champion!  United States beaten in the fifth set
Written by aquitodovale

FRANCE – UNITED STATES 3-2 (25-16, 25-19, 15-25, 21-25, 15-10)

BOLOGNA – Great show in the final of the 2022 edition of the VNL. Indeed, the first two sets were without history, with France ruling the field thanks to solidity in serving and defense. Earvin Ngapeth sumptuous (12 points in the first two halves), but it is the whole band of Giani that turns beautifully, starting from the service and the defense that sends the American half into crisis, unable to strike up a decent game with the attackers in great difficulty . Then in the third partial the move you do not expect. Speraw changes its position, Defalco becomes opposite and Muagututia in the band. American reception finally enables Christenson to play closer to the net. The stars and stripes director takes the chair and involves all of him, with France experiencing a decline while the United States are excited, win hands down the third set and win a hard-fought fourth fraction. However, the first few minutes of the fifth set are enough to direct the match. The Brizard Ride in Service is bloody for the Americans, Ngapeth (5 points in the last fraction) leads his team to the gold medal.

INITIAL SEXTETS – United States with Christenson directing with opposite Ensing, Russell and Defalco in the band, Smith and Jendrik central, Shoji is the free one.
France responded with Brizard and Patry in the main diagonal, Ngapeth and Clevenot spikers, Le Goff and Chinenyeze central, Grebennikov free.

First Set – Andrea Giani’s formation comes out better thanks to Chinenyeze’s batting lap and Patry’s attacks. The USA are struggling in reception, a one-handed magic by Christenson is not enough to revitalize the Americans who are under 12-6 at the technical timeout. From nine meters Ngapeth continues to do damage with Speraw’s men chained in P4. The American coach inserts Kyle Russel opposite, France continues in its defensive show, devastating services and foil plays in attack that are worth a 19-7 that speaks for itself. We are already thinking about the second set despite a couple of transalpine errors, certified by the Clevenot wall for 25-16.
Second Set – Speraw keeps the opposite Kyle Russell on the field but the music apparently does not change, because France does not take their foot off the accelerator and in an amen it is 7-2 with among other things two walls of Le Goff on Smith. Muagututia enters for Defalco and finds a pipe to close the gap (7-4), Brizard takes care of the service to promote the French cause (10-5). The United States fails to put a stop to the transalpine escape, with Brizard inspired and whimsical who does not allow the American wall to work as usual. The ace of the newly entered Jouffroy leads the French to 21-15, the infamous US breakpoint phase is neutralized by the variety of the transalpine attack, the second set ends 25-19 with an attack of the usual Ngapeth.
Third Set – Speraw shuffles the cards: Defalco returns and does the opposite, Muagututia stays on the pitch diagonally with the other hitter Russell. This time the start is promising, at least for the show, because France does not run away and the United States seem to be in the match, with a Russell finally at his level in attack (5-7). Giani notices some cracks in the French game and wants to talk to us about it (5-8), Smith finally stops Ngapeth on the wall, with Christenson, finally helped by the first touch, dispenses high school plays. The audience lines up for the Americans, Russell invents a great defense while Defalco seems to have done nothing but crush from the opposite in his life. The result is a nice partial with stars and stripes (11-17) with Giani who stops the game. But now Smith and his associates are launched and are also gassing in defense (the point of 13-20 is from the film library). Giani changes the direction (inside Toniutti) but the United States is a train running until 15-25 signed by an irrepressible Defalco.

Fourth Sept. – United States that obviously do not change their set-up and start in the lance in the rest even in this fraction (3-5, two consecutive points from Jendrik). The game is now beautiful with great defenses in both halves. France struggled to put balls on the ground, the American change was more fluid. But nevertheless, Giani’s men are within range (8-10). Smith thinks to give him another break (blocking Le Goff), the unstoppable Defalco sends everyone to the technical timeout at 9-12. Grebennikov puts his chest to defend Russell (12-14), a Defalco error brings France back (13-14). Giani opts for the double Boyer-Toniutti change, the partial is in the balance. Spectacular the twentieth American point (at 18) concluded by a mistake by Boyer after three consecutive defenses of the transalpines. Jendrik stops Ngapeth on the wall and Giani stops the match (18-21), there is an air of fifth set. Muagututia with a very narrow diagonal extends another break, Ngapeth tries not to sink (19-22), but it is precisely his mistake from nine meters that sends the contest to the fifth (21-25).
Fifth Set – Brizard’s ace and Russell’s out in pipe attack break the continuity (4-2) with Speraw immediately running for cover with the timeout. Still the direct point from the nine meters of the French director with a wall to one of Ngapeth on Defalco address the partial in a decisive way (7-2). Patry and Ngapeth do not give up (11-7), Russell has a start (11-9, after a big hit on the block by Smith). Ngapeth finds Defalco’s fingers on the wall and Jouffroy an ace (13-9), Russell’s mistake from the service line gives match points to the French. Celebrating Smith’s ball in the net (15-10).

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