Wednesday – the right time to talk about the opening rounds of the European Cups where five French teams are engaged: RC Cannes and VB Nantes (Champions League), Le Cannet and Béziers VB (CEV Cup) and ASPTT Mulhouse (Challenge Cup).
Mulhouse, currently first position in the French league, claimed a four sets victory against RSR Walfer from Luxembourg (20-25, 25-16, 25-10, 25-12). It seemed a good opportunity for coach Magail to turn their players, although in the end, still more experienced Tanja Bokan made the difference, scoring 18 points for her team.
Le Cannet started their adventure in the 2015 CEV Volleyball Cup with an expected loss against the powerful team of Galatasary Daikin Istanbul (25-21, 25-20, 25-21). Although a straight sets victory, the Turkish team had to play their best volleyball to force their opponents to make mistakes. The return is scheduled in France for November 26th.
The rookies of Nantes VB proved their unbelievable victory against the leader RC Cannes this weekend was not an isolated event; three days later and thousand of kilometers away from home, the players of Sylvain Quinquis almost pulled away their first win in Champions League against home heroines of Azeryol Baku (3:2; 25-17, 18-25, 18-25, 25-16, 20-18). Dramatic game, Baku managed to get back on the track and save two match balls just to claim the victory in tie break (20-18). Outstanding performance for Ariel Turner (best scorer of the game: 21 points) who managed to respond to the offensive lead on the other side by Serbians Jelena Nikolic and Jovana Brakocevic.
Probably one of the most expected games in France this week – RC Cannes against Nordmeccanica Piacenza (ITA). Surprised off-guard the past weekend by Nantes, payers of Yan Fang managed to claim a dramatic five sets win against the Italians (16-25, 25-20, 15-25, 25-23, 15-12). Difficult debut for the French players who lost the first set roughly, just to come back in the second round: two unforced errors on the Italian side helped Cannes level the match to one set a piece. Third set proved to be one more disaster for Ravva & co. : powerful spikes and an inspired Frauke Dirickx brought the Italians a well deserved third set. It was the moment Yan Fang decided to substitute half of the team, Serbian receiver Sanja Bursac and young Sweedish Alexandra Lazic replaced Logan Tom, respectively Japanese Yukiko Ebata. Cannes managed to slide back on the track in the fourth set blocking better on Sorokaite and Van Hecke. Faucette, on the French side, is unstoppable. Tie break starts with a tight score till the forst technical timeout, when again emphatic Faucette’s attack as well as Onyejeckwe’s amazing blocks made the difference: 15-12. After the first round RC Cannes settled on the first position of Pool E, waiting for today’s result: VakifBank Istanbul – Partizan Vizura Beograd.
Today Beziers meets Haifa.