Łódź, Poland, June 24, 2016 - France downed Russia 3-0 in the opening march of the World League Group 1D weekend in Łódź. Coach Laurent Tillie did not expect to start the tournament with such a good score.
Laurent Tillie, coach of France: It was a strange match, maybe because of tiredness. However, we played very concentrated, we were very focused on our game and we use our frustration in good way. It was important, because in situation like this it is easy to lose. I think we played a good game and it is always important for us to win. I am surprised that we won match against Russia in three sets. In the the second set we were supposed to win easy, then we were about to lose it, but we fought for every chance and that is what I am asking from my players – to enjoy the moment, to try to give 100% of what you have.
Vladimir Alekno, coach of Russia: Unfortunately, we didn’t use our chances, nothing worked in our game. In volleyball it is like this - team which makes more mistakes always has to lose. Today we made more errors. We will try to improve our game before tomorrow’s match.
Benjamin Toniutti, captain of France: We knew that Russian team is really powerful, they have good block and strong service. We played a really good game today in all elements but mainly we showed a great passion on the court.
I think the most important is how we managed the game after long trip from Australia. After today’s game we can see that we can beat such team as Russia even if we aren’t in perfect physical shape. For us this year’s World League is great preparation for Olympic Games. It’s possible to play against the strongest team in the world before Rio. We won the title during last year’s edition and we will do our best to keep it. But it will be really difficult.
Now we’re waiting for next game against Argentina which play totally different volleyball than Russia. Even though they lost tree matches in World League tournament in Rio, they performed well, fought till the end in each game so that we expect a really hard game tomorrow.
Lukas Divis, Russia: We started a little bit nervous. We changed the roster, for example I didn’t play last weekend in Kaliningrad. With another players we have trying a new system. From the beginning we made a lot of mistakes. It is visible that France played the tournament in Japan, they are in a better shape at this moment. For us the game just started, so it’s the reason why we made many mistakes in serve and that’s true. France have a strong reception, did good job in defence, made less errors and the start was soo hard for our team. I can only congratulate them and promise a better play in the next games.