Tokyo, Japan, June 2, 2016 – France took a solid step in reaching their Rio 2016 dream, after they defeated Canada 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-16) at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Thursday.
France outside spiker Earvin Ngapeth and opposite Antonin Rouzier sparked the team’s offence with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Ngapeth and Rouzier contributed to their team’s great service game against the North American team as they combined for four of their six aces in the match. Graham Vigrass led Canada with 11 markers.
Canada did not have their usual starters John Gordon Perrin, Nicholas Le Goff and Gavin Schmitt in the first set. Both sides gauged each other in the beginning but France were able to build on their momentum and was the first to break away with an 11-7 advantage. Kevin Tillie and Rouzier ignited their run in the next few plays that stretched their lead to as much as seven at 23-16. France traded points with Canada to effortlessly conclude the set at 25-17. France maintained their good tempo and led 7-4 in the second set. Ngapeth took charge and helped France to form on another good lead, while the Canadians struggled to convert on their attack attempts. As the French side led at 20-16, Canada only managed to log one point, while France rallied with great service and attack to score five points and secured the set at 25-17.
France looked really determined and started rummaging points early in the third set. Ngapeth and Rouzier teamed-up to drill spikes from both flanks to widen the French gap at 17-11. The French servers again pressured the Canadian defence to organise a counter-attack. Rouzier finally delivered the final cross-court blow to end set and match 25-18.