Coming into the day, France needed to win at least two sets against defending FIVB World League champion Serbia. They got it done as quickly as possible as they took set one 25-21 and set two 25-20.
France took down the United States in five sets in their first match, while Serbia lost in four sets to USA. That created a scenario where Serbia had to win in three or four sets over France to make the semifinal round. France just needed two sets to do the same, with a win over Serbia giving them the pool victory.
After France won the first two sets, Serbia battled back for a 25-17 second set win. Then, the Serbians took the third 25-18 to force a decisive fifth. At this point, Serbia knew they were eliminated but didn’t let that faze them. They fought hard, but France came out on top 15-11. The fifth-set result had no effect on Serbia (who was already eliminated), but it did drop the United States to a second-place finish in the pool.
Not only does winning the pool have a nice ring to it, after Brazil won Pool J1, that put more pressure on France. Before their match with Serbia even begun, they knew that a win would match them up with Canada. Those prospects seem better than facing off against Brazil who is playing in front of a home crowd. That is exactly what France’s prospects now are, as they will match-up with Canada in the semifinal round tomorrow.