Montpellier: Volleyball, a super sport that returns to the top

On Wednesday, May 11th, volleyball players in Montpellier can be crowned French champions for the first time since 1975! A highly anticipated event in Herault, where the sport appeared in France.

The very long wait of 47 years may be about to end. Montpellier’s volleyball players could already become champions of France if they beat the Tour, on Wednesday evening (8 pm), in Castelnau. In the event of defeat, they will have another chance to be crowned during “The Beautiful”, Sunday, in Tours. It will be the first title since 1975! The party will be lovely in Montpellier, France’s premier volleyball ground.

1 sport from Les Coquilles in Palavas

If volleyball was born on the sands of California, “It was on the beach of Les Coquilles, right bank, in the Palavas, that it appeared in France in the thirties”Our sports columnist Rene Bernard from Pallavas, himself a former volleyball player, explains. Football and volleyball players met there to extend the season. At the time, we basically played 4v4. There were dozens of fields glued together. The most beautiful games can attract thousands of spectators! Since then, the beach has moved to the left bank of the Pallavas, and Montpellier beach volleyball (MBV) is played in La Rose. He is out of the Montpellier beach gentlemen which happened in 2005 in a comic. Since 2017, MBV has organized an annual event for the World Circle in Montpellier.

2 in Montpellier, a prestigious history

From 1945 to 1980, Montpellier was France’s only regional champion! Then the Parisian clubs monopolized the titles. The University of Montpellier club, whose volleyball department was created in 1941, held its first four post-war titles, from 1947 to 1951. Then three more between 1972 and 1975. This team from the 1970s was a very regular, as deputy Also for – a six-time champion, from 1969 to 1979. Montpellier was a veritable ground for volleyball, with the MUC Young Ladies crowned six times from 1949 to 1962, before ASPTT took charge with seven titles in the 1970s! But since then, she’s been crossing the desert. The men’s team only made it back to the final once, in 1992. But this season – the club’s first under the MHSC umbrella – they can be very happy. For women, too, as Lattes-ASPTT Montpellier can hope to return to the elite.

Claude Everer: “A very great memory”

What does this 1975 title represent?

It’s a great memory, with an action packed match in a great atmosphere. We were only eight players and we made a very cohesive team. We weren’t old men. We were particularly known for our speed and defence. The 1972 and 1973 titles gave us confidence. And we missed the title quite a bit in 1974, with a final defeat to Racing and a title that eluded us in average points.

Who was the greatest player you played with?

Yugoslavian Eros Rybarik. He arrived at MUC in 1966 and instilled in us rigor, technique and mindset. He promoted the club to the first division. Then we came close to the title a few times, before winning three times after he was gone. We were the first Montpellier team to play in the European Cup, all sports combined!

Who were the other architects of this boom?

President Jean Blaine and Jack Shaw played a major role in the development of volleyball. I would also like to pay tribute to the players who left us: my friend Jean-Louis Gervais and our coach, our player Serge Ponto, Michel Delage and Richard Magnone. I regret to pass that the former MUC is not invited to the matches in Castelnau …

3 in town, several places

It is impossible to mention all the places where volleyball players played in Montpellier. After the war, the club played outdoors at Legouvé College (formerly Clémence-Royer), Sabathé Stadium, Cité Benoît (near Saint-Roch station), Lepic Barracks (formerly EAI) … It is the gymnasium at Joffre High School that It was the spectacle of his greatest victories. It was then the Jouanique Gymnasium (near Las Rebes), the René-Bougnol Sports Center from 1977 to 2002, and then the Pierre de Coubertin Sports Center (in La Paillade). Since 2014, volleyball players have been writing the rest of the history at the Jacques Chaban-Delmas Palace of Sports, in Castelnau-le-Lez.

4 The rest of the story is promising

Well-established in the neighborhoods (ASLJ in Croix-d’Argent, ASBAM in Beaux-Arts, etc.), volleyball has also landed Saint-Gély, Mauguio and Le Crès… There are approximately 4,500 licensees in Hérault, including That’s more over 1,300 new champions since winning the Olympic title in 2021. Ten of the twelve Olympic champions trained at the Stade Paul-France de Crepe in Montpellier!

A large screen will be installed this evening (8pm) in the front yard of the Castelnau gymnasium. The match is played behind closed doors.

In 1975, a fire evening at the Lycée Joffre

In complete equality before their last championship match, MUC and Racing Club de France played for the Champion title on the last day, May 12, 1975! In front of more than 3,000 fans crammed into the Joffrey High School gymnasium (500 couldn’t get in), Racing led two groups to one but MUC reversed it all for a 3-2 win. The match that lasted more than three hours was fantastic. He also saw many players leave with convulsions. Evrar, DiGiantomaso, Guy, Germain, Vigé, Gervais, Fabre and Bogart were this evening’s anthology heroes.

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