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Pool 19: USA defeat Serbia in first match in Plovdiv

 

Plovdiv, Bulgaria, June 29, 2019 - USA defeated Serbia in the first match on day 2 of 2019 men's FIVB Volleyball Nations League Pool 19 in Plovdiv on Saturday.

Pre-match stats:

United States - Serbia (June 29, 2019) 

Head-to-head
- Serbia (incl. predecessors) have a W14-L13 record against United States in major world level tournaments.
- United States have won each of their last four major encounters at world level with Serbia.
- World level major competitions are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
- Serbia's last major victory over Team USA took place in the 2017 World League, with Serbia emerging victorious 3-1 on home court in Novi Sad.
 In last season's VNL, it was the US' turn to claim a straight sets victory in front of a home crowd, as United States triumphed 3-0 in Hoffman Estates.

United States
- United States have won seven and lost six Volleyball Nations League matches this season.
- As hosts of the Final Round, United States are assured of progress even if they are ranked outside the top six after Week 5.
- United States could lose seven matches at a single major world level tournament for the third time this century, after 2006 World League (7) and the 2017 World League (8).
- On 130 points, Benjamin Patch is USA's top scorer this VNL campaign. Last year, only Matthew Anderson (166) won more points for USA in the preliminary round.

Serbia
- Serbia have won five and lost eight matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League.
- Serbia (incl. predecessors) could lose five straight matches within a single world level major tournament for the first time since the 1966 World Championship, when Yugoslavia lost their final six matches.
- Serbia (W5-L8) could lose nine matches at a single major world level competitions for the second time after the 1998 World League (10 as Serbia and Montenegro).
- Lazar Cirovic leads Serbia in scoring in this year's VNL on 124 points. In 2018, Drazen Luburic was Serbia's top scorer in the preliminary round on 152 points.

Bulgaria - Iran (June 29 2019) 

Head-to-head
- Bulgaria and Iran have split their six encounters at world level at three victories apiece.
- World level major competitions are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
- Bulgaria won their most recent major encounter. At last year's world championship, Bulgaria emerged victorious 3-0 on home court.
- Earlier in the same world championship, visiting Iran emerged victorious 3-1 in Varna.

Bulgaria
- Bulgaria (W5-L8) have won their last two Volleyball Nations League matches, 3-2 against Germany and 3-1 against United States. They could now win three successive VNL matches for the first time.
- Bulgaria are one shy of equalling their number of wins in the 2018 VNL (W6-L9).
- Bulgaria could win three successive world level matches for the first time since successively beating Cuba twice and Argentina once in the 2015 World League.
- Tsvetan Sokolov is Bulgaria's top scorer this VNL season, on 123 total points. Last year, Nikolay Uchikov amassed a team-high total of 169 points in the preliminary round.
- Svetoslav Gotsev is among the best blockers in the 2019 VNL, averaging 0.47 stuff blocks per set.

Iran
- Iran have a W11-L2 record in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League.
- Iran's 11 wins are already a team record number of victories at a single world level tournament (previously 7).
- Amir Ghafour (207) has already surpassed Iran's top scorer in the 2018 VNL, Milad Ebadipour Ghara H. (193). 
- Mir Saeid Marouflakrani (average 8.85) is one of the best setters in the 2019 VNL.
- Mohammadreza Hazratpourtalatappeh is among the best receivers (23.45% efficiency) and the best diggers (1.85 average per set) in the 2019 VNL.

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