The France National Team advanced to the semi-finals of the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League by dominating Japan in Bologna.
France’s good habit didn’t change.
In fact, since 2015 and for the sixth time in seven editions (including the former FIVB World League), they have advanced to the semifinals of the competition.
The Olympic champions ideally started the Final 8, with a clear straight sets win (26:24, 25:16, 25:20).
It was visible from the start of the match that France was better of their rivals, who had a notable preliminary stage campaign, and the team from the land of the rising Sun was a worthy opponent only in the first set, ended 26:24.
Both sides were deprived of the presence of one big star: France couldn’t count on Earvin Ngapeth, who injured his ankle and was spared from playing and, on the other side, the heavy absence of captain Yuki Ishikawa, who also didn’t play due to injury.
French star libero Jenia Grebennikov played his first match in this year’s VNL and contributed to the team’s success with great reception and some excellent digs, while opposite Jean Patry top-scored the winners with 19 points, followed by outside hitter Yacine Louati with 10.
“I missed this for sure, because I love this team. They are like family, like brothers to me… I am also happy because we played well and I hope we play even better in the semifinal. Japan play very fast. Their setter is very fast and Nishida spikes very fast, so it was a very difficult first game for me this summer. The most important thing was to make fewer mistakes than them, because they never make mistakes and they defend a lot. It was a difficult game, but we did a good job,” said Jenia Grebennikov, after the match.
🏐| VNL 2022: Final 8 @ Bologna
— July 20, 2022 —
— July 21, 2022 —
• 18.00 (Local Time) QUARTERFINAL 3 | France (5) – Japan (5) 3-0 (26:24, 25:16, 25:20)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
— July 23, 2022 —
— July 24, 2022 —
• FINAL 3/4 | 18.00 (Local Time) Italy – Poland
• FINAL 1/2 | 21.00 (Local Time) France – USA