Atanasijevic leads Serbia to win against France


Varna, Bulgaria, September 21, 2018 - Outstanding Aleksandar Atanasijevic led Serbia to a historical win against France in Pool H at the 2018 FIVB World Championship! The Serbian opposite topped the list of the scorers with the incredible 38 points and the Balkans overpowered Laurent Tillie’s players in a dramatic five-set thriller 3-2 (22-25, 26-24, 25-20, 18-25, 18-16) in the Palace of Culture and Sports. This is a first Serbian victory against France in the history of this major volleyball event. Before this match, the French team have won all three meetings versus this opponent (including Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro). 

France started the match pretty well and won the opening set by 25-22. Stephen Boyer was on fire in this period, scoring 11 points for the French, whereas his teammate Nicolas Le Goff was just perfect near the net and finished with 3 blocks.  

In the beginning of the second set Le Goff spiked from the middle, Benjamin Toniutti blocked Uros Kovacevic, and France took a 3-point advantage (8-5). In the next few minutes Uros Kovacevic destroyed the French reception with a powerful serve and Serbia took the lead by 18-17. In the end the French block stopped Uros Kovacevic and France had a crucial 2-point advantage (24-22). Led by Aleksandar Atanasijevic and after two unforced errors in attack by Laurent Tillie’s players, Serbia won the set by 26-24. 

Serbia continued to play better and took a huge 5-point advantage (13-8). Uros Kovacevic and Srecko Lisinac made a monster double block and a minute later Serbia won the third set by 25-20 after another perfect spike by Aleksandar Atanasijevic. 

Led by Stephen Boyer, who continued to be unstoppable in attack (23 points until the end of the third set), France managed to come back after 25-18 in the fourth set. 

The second setter of French Antoine Bizzard scored the last point with a clever decision near the net! In the tie-break, Nikola Grbic’s players did a great job near the net! Nemanja Petric made an amazing block and after another one by Srecko Lisinac, the Balkans were two points ahead (7-5)! With the same volleyball weapon France made it 8-8. A few minutes later, Kevin Tillie spiked from the middle (10-8), but in the end the players who stole the show was Aleksandar Atanasijevic and Uros Kovacevic. The Serbian opposite scored a powerful ace and after another one by Kovacevic, Serbia won the tie-break by 18-16.  

Aleksandar Atanasijevic finished as a top scorer for the winners with 38 points! For France Stephen Boyer scored 34!