Varna, Bulgaria, June 16, 2019 – Japan ended their campaign in Bulgaria with a victory against Australia on Sunday.
Pre-match stats:Japan – Australia (June 16, 2019)
• Japan won five of their seven major world level encounters with Australia (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup).
• Japan could win three successive world level matches against Australia for the first time.
• Australia's only world level victories over Japan came at the 2007 World Cup (3-0) and at the 2017 World League (3-2).
• Japan defeated Australia 3-1 at last year's VNL, their most recent world level meeting.
• Japan also beat Australia in their most recent meeting at the Asian Championship. They won 3-0 in the quarter-finals and went on to win the tournament.Japan
• By defeating Bulgaria 3-2 on Saturday, Japan snapped a three-match losing streak in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
• Japan won back-to-back VNL matches only once. In mid-June of last year, they defeated Italy and Germany in succession.
• Five of Japan's nine VNL victories were decided in five sets.Australia
• After losing 3-1 to Italy on Saturday, Australia have now lost 10 of their last 11 matches in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
• Luke Smith was Australia's leading points scorer against Italy on nine points, in a side that did not put anyone in double figures and does not have anyone among the top 20 scorers in the competition.
• Last season, Australia also won only one of their first eight VNL matches. Then, they responded by embarking on a four-match winning run.
• Arshdeep Dosanjh (11) and Samuel Walker (10) are among the tournament leaders in aces. They are two of the few servers in the tournament to have struck double figures in that category.Italy – Bulgaria (June 16, 2019)
• Italy have won 19 of their 34 major world level encounters with Bulgaria (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup), including each of the last four.
• Bulgaria's last world level victory over Italy came in the preliminary round at the London 2012 Olympic Games (3-0). Six days later, Italy defeated Bulgaria 3-1 in the bronze medal match.
• Italy could win five successive world level matches against Bulgaria for the second time after 1996 to 2004.
• Italy defeated Bulgaria 3-1 at last year's VNL, their most recent world level encounter. Filippo Lanza scored a match-high 20 points.Italy
• Italy have won six of their eight FIVB Volleyball Nations League matches this season. In their entire 2018 campaign, they won eight of 15.
• Visiting Italy have split six VNL encounters with the host nation at three apiece, but have won two of their last three against the hosts.
• Gabriele Nelli leads all points scorers in this season's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on 155, scoring 133 off spikes.
• A success rate of 52.57% also ranks Nelli among the leading attackers in this season's VNL.Bulgaria
• The defeat against Japan on Saturday stopped Bulgaria from winning three VNL matches in a row for the first time.
• Each of Bulgaria's last three VNL matches was decided in five sets. Bulgaria won two and lost one.
• Bulgaria have won three of their eight matches this VNL season. Last season, they had three victories from 10 before they won a fourth.Quick links - Volleyball:FIVB.com - Volleyball Nations LeagueFIVB.com - VolleyballFacebookTwitterInstagram