After their victory on Monday against Germany, the French volleyball players, Olympic champions for the first time in Tokyo, won their group match, Wednesday, September 8, against Latvia. They sign their fourth victory in a row, in as many meetings, in the first round of Euro 2021, and should thus finish the group stages in first place in the group. By winning three sets to zero (25-18, 25-14, 25-17), the French can even afford to lose in the tie-break their last meeting, scheduled for Thursday night against Estonia, without this happening. come and dislodge them.
For the first time since the start of the tournament, a week ago in Tallinn (Estonia), Benjamin Toniutti’s teammates achieved a full match on Wednesday, without knowing any weak time, dominating the Latvian block in attack. “It was the simplest match because we put a lot of intensity, that’s what the coach required. We went well by really attacking them. This is what made the match easier ”, explained Jenia Grebennikov after the meeting. “We are ramping up, I hope it will continue”, he added.
The new coach of the France team, the Brazilian Bernardo Rezende, known as “Bernardinho”, decided at the start of the meeting to keep the base of his team aligned for a week. But in the third set he allowed young Moussé Gueye (central) and François Rebeyrol (striker-receiver) to register their first points of this Euro, respectively four and five.
Last group match against Estonia on Thursday
“We brought in a lot of guys who show that they really have the level. It’s great, frankly. In addition, we enjoy the field, we start to be more and more clean. We are very focused and diligent. We continue because the hardest part is happening ”, said Jenia Grebennikov, who will play in Saint Petersburg next season.
While they had spent seventy-nine minutes on the pitch against Slovakia and seventy-seven minutes against Croatia, the Blues folded the match in just seventy minutes, retaining their strength for the next meetings so that this Euro takes place at the end of a particularly busy summer, after the League of Nations (from the end of May to the end of June) and the Olympic Games (from the end of July to the beginning of August).
Thursday, the France team will therefore find a familiar face: Cédric Enard, who was Laurent Tillie’s assistant in the France team from May 2017 to December 2019, now coaches the Estonia team. After this last group match, the French will head to Ostrava, Czech Republic, for the round of 16 and quarter-finals.