The first-leg match of French Ligue A’s playoffs were played, the last for 42-year-old Hubert Henno who announced his retirement at the end of the season just before the start of quarterfinals.
The french champion has all the credentials to finish in style with the very favorite Tours. The winning team of the regular season has in fact begun winning away 3-1 in a comeback the match against Nantes. After a first set lost 25-17, staggered during the turn in the service of Tuitoga, Tours responded with a peremptory 10-25 (with 6 aces, 9 in total) in the 2nd set and then commanded the game until the final 3-1 by recording excellent numbers in all the fundamentals. Egleskalns was the top scorer of the match with 18 points, while the middle-blocker Chinenyeze also contributed with a great performance: 13 points, 71% in attack and 3 winning-blocks. Michalovic scored 14 on the other side.
The other team which won away was Ajaccio, with a great performance of Pepic, author of 23 points including 6 winning-blocks and 60% in attack, and also of the new Vibo Valentia’s player Carle (22 points and 64% in attack). They needed 5 sets to beat Poitiers, which have paid the heavy absence of Kokkinakis. But what a match for Ajaccio, which continue its winning-streaks! Ajaccio had litterally blocked the rivals: 15 winning-blocks against 9 of Poitiers.
Instead, the field factor was respected by Chaumont, which in a game seasoned with lots of aces (12 on one side and 10 on the other, 4 by Geiler) defeated Montpellier with a clear 3-0. Winkelmuller win the challenge between opposites: top scorer of the match with 14 points and 71% in attack against the disappointing 38% of Patry (12 points).
The picture is closed by a great 3-1 of Nice against Rennes, in a very fighted match (photogallery of the match avaible). Overbeeke played an excellent performance, with 31 points in total, 56% in attack, 2 blocks and 4 aces, while Bartoš also contributed with 12 points.
Huge difference in the block: Nice closes the game with 14 winning blocks, against the only 4 of Rennes.
Nice-Rennes 3:1 —GALLERY—