Varna, Bulgaria, September 22, 2018 – France got back to winning ways after beating Poland 3-1 (25-15, 25-18, 23-25, 25-18) in Pool H of the 2018 Men’s Volleyball World Championship. With this loss the current world champions move down to second place in the standings while today’s winner maintains third.
Laurent Tillie, coach of France: “We never quit, we never give up. It is always interesting to see a team playing like that, even if they are almost out of the competition. I think we were more aggressive and Poland was a little bit shy, waiting to see what will happen. We played really good. It was a psychological work and the players responded very well. To see Argentina winning against Poland was like a little bit of a fresh air for our lungs, but there is still a long way to go. Tomorrow we will do our best. Argentina is a really good team, I like how they play and it will be a tough match.”
Benjamin Toniutti, captain of France: “It was a good victory but still, it is not enough. We have to come back tomorrow and to try to win this game against Argentina. Then we have to see what will happen in the game between Serbia and Poland. We will prepare really good for the battle tomorrow and we will support a lot Serbia.”
Earvin Ngapeth, player of France: “It was significant for us to win this match because otherwise the tournament would have been finished for us. It was important to play with a smile, to take the pleasure out of the game, because this is our power. We have lost a bit of it because of the losses we made in some of the previous matches. The battle against Poland was the perfect game for our mentality, and it prepared us for the game tomorrow. Today the coach let us without a training session and we were able to be in the hotel and to talk as a team. We saved our little chance to go to Turin and to be in the final six for now. After the game tomorrow we just have to pray for Serbia.
Kevin Tillie, player of France: “I think we enjoyed a bit more our game. We had a little bit less pressure because we have nothing to lose anymore, so we played free. We managed to do our game and to win. Tomorrow it will be a hard match to play. Argentina play really well since the beginning. They are really good in defense and overall, they have really good technical players. We have to stay focused and to give everything we have till the end.”
Vital Heynen, coach of Poland: „We had a very bad and difficult game yesterday, so as everybody saw, the first two sets were not good at all. Then we started playing a little bit better but in total France was the stronger team today, especially in defense. We saw some amazing digs by them. They just beat us easily! But tomorrow is a new day and it is our last chance to get to the final six. We need one victory and we have one game to go. It is easy!”
Dawid Konarski, player of Poland: „We knew what we were playing for but, unfortunately, we missed our chance to qualify for the Finals tonight. We started well with a 3-point advantage but then Ngapeth went to the serving line and France led by 10-5. Afterwads they just won the first two sets easily. In the third one we managed to get back in the game and we even won it, but at the end we just could not put the opponents in trouble. Tomorrow we face Serbia and we are forced to win in order to qualify for the final six. We have everything in our hands!”