#France: Tours, Ajaccio and Chaumont in the semifinal, Rennes and Nice to Game 3
The second-leg matches of the quarter-finals playoffs were played this evening. Tours, Ajaccio and Chaumont fly to the semifinal, winning in straight sets respectively against Nantes, Poitiers and Montpellier, while Rennes and Nice refer everything to tomorrow. In fact, after a great performance in game 1 (Nice had, playing at home, destroyed the rivals in four sets), today a rather opaque game, especially for the opposite Overbeeke, one of the great protagonists of game 1. For him tonight 12 points, but with only 38% in attack (with 6 errors and 3 blocks suffered). Opaque performance also for the rest of the team, while on the other hand, Rennes really played an excellent game, led by Van der Dries (top scorer of the match with 15 points and 65% in attack) and Baranek (13 points and 73% in attack). For Nice, now, it’s all uphill. The fourth seed Rennes returned the suspense in the series by tying the series at 1-1 to leave the vacant spot for the semifinals.
Chaumont literally destroys Montpellier to fly deservedly to the final. The hosts never started playing seriously, and the game was one-way. Top scorer of the match was Winkelmuller, author of 17 points and 55% in attack, while Fernandez contributed with only 20% in attack (2/10) but 7 winning blocks!
Chaumont will meet Ajaccio in the semifinals, who continue his impressive winning-streak. After a first set a little bit balanced, the hosts manage to win in straight sets against Poitiers, always leading the game. Carle was the best scorer of the game with 13 points, followed by Mendez with 12 and Dailey with 11 (and 73% in attack!), While on the other side only Kutsmus reached a double-digit-performance with 10 points. Poitiers had to face a bizarre situation before the playoffs as Moroccan outside hitter Zouheir El Graoui decided to compete in the 2019 Africa Nations Beach Volleyball Cup, despite his valid contract with the club! The German opposite hitter Jochen Schöps returned to the Poitiers roster after the injury but it did not help his team avoid playoff elimination.
No problem for Tours which, as expected, overwhelms Nantes even in game 2 without too much difficulty. Top scorer of the match was Egleskalns with 15 points, Wounembaina added 13 and Chinenyeze 7, including 1 winning block, with 100% in attack!
The reigning champions (but also winners of regular season, and coupe de france) are now waiting for the winner between Nice and Rennes…