Perugia, Italy, June 13, 2019 – Bulgaria claimed a first victory in the 2019 women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Thursday against Korea. Visit the pool match centre pages for more information.Korea-Bulgaria: Match CentreItaly-Russia: Match CentrePre-match stats:
Korea – Bulgaria (June 13, 2019)
• Republic of Korea have lost their last three world level major tournament matches versus Bulgaria, after having won all of their first five world level meetings with the Bulgarians.
• Those three defeats came at the 1998 World Championship (3-1), the 2002 World Championship (3-1) and the 2017 World Grand Prix (3-2).
• Republic of Korea's last world level victory over Bulgaria came at the 1986 World Championship (3-0).
• World level major tournaments are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Prix and Grand Champions Cup.Republic of Korea
• Republic of Korea have lost 10 of their 11 Volleyball Nations League matches this year, with the only exception of a straight set victory against Belgium on 28 May.
• Republic of Korea could lose eight successive matches within a world level major competition for only the second time, after a run of 11 defeats at the 2001 World Grand Prix.
• Republic of Korea have claimed a set in each of their last two VNL matches (3-1 defeats against Russia and Italy). They could win a set in three straight VNL matches for the second time, after a run of four in 2018 (second to fifth match)
• Yeon Koung Kim was Republic of Korea's top scorer in their 3-1 defeats against Russia on Tuesday (17 points) and Italy on Wednesday (16). Kim also was Korea's top scorer in the 2018 VNL with 145 total points.
• Heejin Kim is Republic of Korea's overall top scorer in the 2019 VNL with 112 total points.Bulgaria
• Bulgaria have lost all of their 11 matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League. They had never lost more than six consecutive matches in world level major tournaments until the 2019 VNL.
• Bulgaria could now equal the VNL record of losing 12 consecutive matches, set by Argentina in 2018. Argentina lost their first 12 matches from the start of the competition last year.
• Zhana Todorova averages 3.58 digs per set, which ranks her among the most successful diggers in the 2019 VNL.
• Silvana Chausheva (11 points) was the only player to reach double figures in scoring for Bulgaria in the 3-0 defeat against Russia on Wednesday.
• Mira Todorova is among the best blockers in the 2019 VNL, averaging 0.70 stuff blocks per set.
Italy – Russia (June 13, 2019)
• Russia (including Soviet Union) lead the head-to-head with Italy 23-6 in world level major competitions.
• Italy have won two of their last three world level major tournament matches against Russia, after having won only four of their previous 26 encounters (Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Prix and Grand Champions Cup).
• Italy won their most recent world level match against Russia, 3-1 in last year's World Championship second round, with Paola Ogechi Egonu scoring a match-high 29 points.
• Italy can claim back-to-back world level wins against Russia for the second time, after 3-1 victories at the 2007 World Grand Prix (final round) and the 2008 Olympic Games.
• These sides also met at last year's VNL, with Russia winning in straight sets.
• This is a rematch of the 2001 European Championship final. Russia won the five-setter on 30 September 2001 in what was Italy's first European Championship final.Italy
• Italy have won nine of their 11 Volleyball Nations League matches in 2019.
• Italy could match their total wins from the 2018 VNL with a victory in this encounter. They had 10 wins and five defeats last year.
• Italy have won multiple sets in each of their last 22 VNL matches (W19-L3). The defeats in this run came in five sets against Japan (29 May 2018), United States (29 May 2019) and China (6 June 2019).
• Elena Pietrini scored 13 points against Republic of Korea on Wednesday to come within one point of Italy's 2019 VNL top scorer Indre Sorokaite (149 to 150).
• Sorokaite is among the best attackers (44.8% success rate) and the best servers (0.42 aces per set) at the 2019 VNL.
• Paola Ogechi Egonu was top scorer against Republic of Korea on 27 points and has now scored a total of 128 points at the 2019 VNL.Russia
• Russia have won both matches in week 4 of the 2019 Volleyball Nations League (against Republic of Korea and Bulgaria), immediately after a seven-match losing streak in the competition.
• Russia could win three VNL matches in a row for the first time ever.
• On Wednesday against Bulgaria, Russia registered their first straight-set victory at the 2019 VNL.
• Russia could win consecutive VNL matches in straight sets for the first time.
• Three players reached double figures for Russia against Bulgaria: Tatiana Iurinskaia (16), Kseniia Parubets (13) and Irina Voronkova (11). These same three players had also reached double figures in the 3-1 win over Republic of Korea on Tuesday.
• Russia won three points from stuff blocks in their match against Bulgaria on Wednesday (Bulgaria had 10), all by Ekaterina Orlova.Quick links - Volleyball:FIVB.com - Volleyball Nations LeagueFIVB.com - VolleyballFacebookTwitterInstagram