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SPAIN vs FRANCE
SPAIN vs FRANCE
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Spain complete the Final Four line-up
This was an all-important match for both Spain and France as they fought for the last spot in European Golden League Final Four. Spain needed to win two sets to reach the final phase, while France needed a three or four-set victory to be the one who get the spot. Spain was the team who succeeded at the end of the third set, having claimed required two sets. France did not give up and fought until they won the entire match in five sets.
As the host of European Golden League Final Four, Bulgaria had their spot in the final phase secured. Following their successful campaign in the Pool B, the last spot in the Final Four became available for the best runner-up across all pools. The best teams and runner-ups of Pools A and C will be determined after discounting results against the last placed team from both Pools.
Spain needed to win two sets to secure their spot in the Final Four - a potential five-setter win for France would give both teams the same number of victories, but Spain would be able to pass France on ranking points.
The Spanish team put pressure on France from the very beginning, quickly getting into 7-3 lead that was soon extended to 16-8. France couldn’t find the way to challenge their opponents in that first set and Spain secured their first part at 25-16. Strong block was one of their key elements as the Spanish team won 6 points in block in the first set alone.
It was all or nothing going forward for France, who had to win the match in three or four sets if they wanted to gain their place in the Final Four. After a slow start, France caught up with Spain at 5-5 and the game continued with neither side allowing their opponent to go ahead more than by two points. The French team had their first set point at 23-24 and Lucille Gicquel seized the opportunity, scoring a spike for 23-25.
A tight fight continued into the beginning of third set, but Spain slowly began to take control over the game. Although their lead varied from three-points to just one at times, when France tried to tie the score, the Spanish team did not allow their opponents to make a comeback in this set. Spain sealed the deal at 25-17, achieving the minimum of required sets that granted them a spot in the Final Four.
Following the decisive match, both teams allowed some of their substitute players to enter the court and carry on the match. France brought the new energy into the fourth set, taking the lead very early on and claiming the set at 14-25. The tie break began under control of the French side, but Spain came as close as 10-12. From that moment France continued their scoring run, finishing the game at 10-15.
Both teams finished with two victories among top three teams of Pool A, but Spain secured more ranking points (7), comparing to France’s 6.
Helena Cazaute emerged as the best scorer with 20 points for France. Her teammate Lucille Gicquel foollowed with 19 points.
On Spain’s side of the net Ana Escamilla and Maria Segura Palleres scored 18 and 17 points respectively.
Spain had a significant dominance in block, scoring 16 points in this element comparing to France’s 5.
Lucrecia Castellano contributed 9 blocks, becoming the best blocker of the game.
Pascual Saurin, coach of Spain: ”I am very happy because we qualified for the second time in a row for the Final Four. We needed two sets and my team went for them. We played a good match. This qualification is deserved, the girls worked hard to get it.”
Maria Segura Palleres, captain of Spain: “I am a really proud and happy captain tonight. We did an amazing job. We could have finished earlier by winning the second set, but France played well and we made many mistakes on service. Of course we wanted to win the game but the most important thing is that we got qualified for the second time in a row.”
The match in numbers
The combined total number of points scored by both teams throughout the entire match.
The total length of the match, from the first serve through until the last point has ended.
Total number of people in attendance at the venue – taken at the end of the second set.
The combined total number of successful spikes achieved by both teams throughout the entire match.
An average of the two team service reception percentages from the complete match.
The number of successful point winning blocks of SPAIN compared to FRANCE.
SPAIN number of service aces compared to FRANCE
Errors leading to points of SPAIN, next to those from FRANCE