The French Ligue A Games 1 of semifinals were played tonight.
Cannes, 2nd in regular season, win in four sets over sixth Cambrai, who surprisingly eliminated Narbonne (third in regular season) in the quarter-finals.
MVP of the match (and top scorer among the winners!) American middle-blocker Taylor Averill, author of 19 points including 5 winning blocks and 3 aces, while the Brazilian opposite Daniel Cagliari was the top scorer of the match with 20 points, wearing the jersey of Cambrai.
After a balanced start, Cambrai lays the foundations for the escape with Villard’s ace (11:9) and Quiroga’s attack (13:10) and, on 14:10 Cannes’ coach Luc Marquet is forced to stop the game.
The reaction seems to come with 2 consecutive points by Averill, an attack and an ace, but it is only an illusion because, on 18:14 signed by Villard, Marquet asks for another time out. Nothing to do, because Villard blocks Williams and signs the 19:14.
The points of advantage are too many, and a nervous Cannes makes too many errors, and in fact closes an error by the guests the first set, with a humiliating 25:15.
Yes! The second set begins with a completely different team, with Averill setting up the 0:5 block, even the 1:7 ace signed by the American middle-blocker, and the 1:10 one. Cannes never stops, and Williams puts down the ball of 3:12, and makes the opponents suffer even from the service line.
Cambrai reacts with two consecutive blocks and a series of good defenses. 8:15 and the Cannes bench asks for a time out. Williams also makes an error, and Cambrai tries a comeback, putting down the 13:17 ball. However, Cannes scores 3 consecutive points 13:20 and Aciobanitei closes the set, 18:25.
In the third set, Klyamar gives a double advantage to Cannes, 3:5 and, although Cambrai manages to remain attached to the match, Averill signs the 7:9 block. Cagliari cancels the advantage once again, with the attack of 9:9, and an ace by Villard over Aciobanitei marks the 12:10.
Williams attacks the ball of 16:16 and, after a block, Averill signs the 16:19 and Williams attacks the 17:21 and the 17:23. Aciobanitei closes from the second line: 19:25!
Beginning of the fourth set very balanced, with Cambrai trying to escape: the rivals suffer the opponent’s serve, and at 8:7 Marquet called a time out. Cannes cancels the double advantage, and when Cagliari attacks out: 12:14 in favor of the guests. Bazin, from the service line hurts the guests, and Cambrai takes the lead again, 19:18. After a fiery set finale, Williams attacks the 23:24 ball, but misses from the service line. Cagliari still draws the score: 25:25, but Williams closes the match, and Cannes leads 1-0 in the semifinal serie!
In the other match, home victory for Chaumont (fourth in the regular season), who defeated the absolute top-seed Montpellier in four sets. Hosts were more incisive in attack and from the service line (13 aces, 5 by Herrera and 3 by Mc Donnell), with the same Herrera as top scorer of the match, with 16 points, followed by Mergarejo with 15 points, all in attack. Among the winners, positive debut for the new outside-hitter Filippo Lanza, who arrived in Chaumont as Steven Marshall’s joker medical. 13 points for the Italian, also named MVP of the match.
On the other hand, too many errors for Montpellier, despite the 8 points of the setter Javier Gonzalez (5 blocks and 1 ace)!
The guests were devastating from the service line in the first set with 6 aces and 3 errors but, from the 2nd set the situation was reversed with Chaumont who, in the last 3 sets, made 10 aces with 14 errors, while Montpellier missed 18 times without no more aces. In the fourth set Chaumont made a comeback from 16:19 to 27:25 with Mergarejo protagonist in attack.
| LIGUE A 2020/21 – Semifinals
| Game 1 – April 14, 2021
• Chaumont (4) – Montpellier (1) 3-1 (19:25, 25:18, 25:17, 27:25)
• Cambrai (6) – Cannes (2) 1-3 (25:15, 18:25, 19:25, 25:27)
| Game 2 – April 17
• • Cannes – Cambrai 3-2 (25:17, 23:25, 23:25, 30:28, 15:12)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
• Montpellier – Chaumont 3-1 (25:17, 26:28, 30:28, 25:15)
| Game 3 – April 18, 2021
• Montpellier – Chaumont 2-3 (25:18, 22:25, 25:21, 23:25, 9:15)