2018 Volleyball Nations League (VNL)

  • Well... Daddy trying to favor his son clearly did not work.... :lol:


    France needs Clevenot.... he`s more physical than Rossard/Tillie/Lynnel....that takes pressure of Ngapeth... Otherwise Toniuti runs a Serbia women`s style game....setting only Ngapeth & Boyer while ignoring the middles.


    Russia is looking really good and certainly will be chasing Gold in Italy....but I still think Brazil and Italy will show their best and we might see these 2 in the final again...

  • France needs Clevenot.... he`s more physical than Rossard/Tillie/Lynnel....that takes pressure of Ngapeth...

    Every time Tillie or Rossard got slam blocked by Russia, I missed Clevenot even more. He's really good at dealing with those tall blockers

  • It was the most awesome privilege to watch the VNL finals!


    French crowd were amazing throughout in their support of France. World cup fever also helped I guess.. The atmosphere inside the stadium was great - It would have been nice to have more consistent English translation form the announcer for non French supporters, but eventually we were able to play along by the last day.


    Russia looked imperious throughout. I guess Kluika didn't play as much as Volkov, but he was the silent MVP, along with Mikhailov in the final. I found Volvich in the middle to be a bit of a weak link - and France had their greatest runs when he was in the front court along with Volkov. However, Russia were able to be on the front foot the whole time, in the end, these were very tiny considerations.


    France absolutely had NO chance in the final. They didn't play a bad game at all - but they had to fight so hard for every point - Even Ngapeth tried his antics looking over the net etc at Muzerski, but Dimitri is a class act, so composed and dominant. Even where France seemed to be on the roll with some humongous serving, all it took for Russia was for them to go to the service line and do exactly the same. Kliuka's passing and hitting - just :obey: I was quite shocked because I didn't expect it to go in this way. I expected the Russian outside to be quite shaky, especially in passing.


    Tonuitti as ever excellent. He tried his best. I would disagree that Tille and Rossard were weak in this match, it was just not going to be a good day for wing spikers because the Russian block was just impenetrable, and most of the blocks were one on one! Boyer was completely shut down.


    Anderson, Muzerski, Kliuka, Lucas, Wallace and Mikhailov, have got to be seen live to be appreciated. :obey::obey::obey:


    Not sure about the American deal for the finals. I always think there are really great fans in Europe, and it's generally more accessible for most fans who want to watch the final weekend, rather than take a whole week off to travel to the US. This is a shame. I also agree with what someone said about fans in the USA - just not enough go to watch - they have a lot of competing big sports already! But it is what it is I guess....

  • Re-watched the gold medal match, and I think Kliuka was the "final nail in the coffin" for France. It looked like, he was hitting at the highest point, at least a foot over the blockers :white: I think this is the first time Kliuka-Muserskiy-Mikhaylov played together and it's almost a crime to be playing against them. As long as Russia has a very active libero defending at the back court, and a stable OH2 in Volkov, their system works pretty well and their block-defence really shines especially the longer a rally goes.


    I disagree about Ngapeth. He wasn't being confrontational to the Russian players, maybe because in his mind he will be teammates with them in his new club. I also realized Tonuitti is quite short for a setter of a top team, and this was really exploited well by Russia in the match. Lastly, Brizzard is one fine young man :lol:

  • Re-watched the gold medal match, and I think Kliuka was the "final nail in the coffin" for France. It looked like, he was hitting at the highest point, at least a foot over the blockers :white: I think this is the first time Kliuka-Muserskiy-Mikhaylov played together and it's almost a crime to be playing against them. As long as Russia has a very active libero defending at the back court, and a stable OH2 in Volkov, their system works pretty well and their block-defence really shines especially the longer a rally goes.


    I disagree about Ngapeth. He wasn't being confrontational to the Russian players, maybe because in his mind he will be teammates with them in his new club. I also realized Tonuitti is quite short for a setter of a top team, and this was really exploited well by Russia in the match. Lastly, Brizzard is one fine young man :lol:

    Kliuka hitting a 3.51 m spiking point against Toniutti outstretched hands reminds me of Paula Pequeno VS Lindsey Berg in 2008 Olympic. It is a crime! :lol:


    The Russian golden triangle is the strongest one this time around. What so great about these 3 is that they are so cool and content - like they have no time for drama on court, just there to kill and win. And they did that. The young captain help stabilizes the passing. Their 2nd MB is a bit weak but with such strong spikers on the wing, it shouldn't be a problem. Just wish their libero played a little bit better. Is this the best Russian libero they have?