Italy recorded their first 2019 VNL win against Germany
Jiangmen, China, June 2, 2019 – Germany and Iran meet on the third day opener, while China seek to win their first match in 2019 edition against Italy at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Germany – Iran (June 2, 2019)
• Germany and Iran will meet for the sixth time in a world level major competition. Of the previous five matches, Germany won three times versus two victories for Iran.
• World level major competitions are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
• At last year's edition of the Nations League, Iran beat Germany 3-2. It was the first time a world level major competition match between these two nations was not won in straight sets.
• Germany began the 2019 Volleyball Nations League with a 3-2 win against China. They were then beaten in straight sets by Italy. The Germans lost all three matches in week one of the 2018 VNL.
• Germany could lose consecutive world level major competition matches in straight sets for the first time since a run of three in a row in the 2014 World League.
• Simon Hirsch (21) is Germany's leading points scorer after the opening two matches, though none of those 21 points came from blocks. Of his 183 points in last year's preliminary round, 25 came from blocks.
• Hirsch (14) was Germany's leading points scorer in the 3-0 defeat against Italy. No German player scored more than 12 points in their five-set win versus China in the opening match.
• Iran have won five consecutive matches in the Volleyball Nations League, their final three fixtures of the 2018 competition and their opening two matches of the 2019 edition.
• Iran's current five-match VNL winning streak came after they won only four of their first 12 matches in the competition.
• Iran could win three consecutive matches in a single world level major competition for the first time since they began the 2018 World Championship with three wins in a row.
• Iran could win consecutive world level major competition matches in straight sets for the first time since the 2016 Olympic Games (v Cuba and Egypt).
• Amir Ghafour was Iran's leading scorer in both of their opening two matches in the 2019 VNL - 20 v Italy and 19 v China. No other player scored more than 11 points for Iran in either of those two matches.
• Mir Saeid Marouflakrani is averaging 16 running sets per set in the 2019 VNL. He was second in the Best Setter standings after the preliminary round of last year's VNL (behind only Argentina's Maximiliano Cavanna).
China – Italy (June 2, 2019)
• China won only five of their 48 world level major tournament matches against Italy.
• World level major tournaments are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
• China have lost eight consecutive world level major competition matches versus Italy, since a straight-sets victory in the World League on 13 June 2009.
• Of China's five world level major competition wins against Italy, four were in straight sets. The only exception was a 3-1 triumph at the 1981 World Cup.
• The teams also met in last year's edition of the Nations League. Italy beat China 3-1 in the preliminary round, despite China's Chuan Jiang scoring a match-high 19 points.
• China lost 14 of their 17 matches in the Volleyball Nations League, including both in the 2019 edition (3-2 v Germany and 3-0 v Iran).
• China have lost nine consecutive world level major competition matches, since a 3-1 win against Japan in Jiangmen in the VNL on 22 June 2018.
• China could lose 10 consecutive world level major competition matches for the first time since a run of 16 in a row across the 2010 World League, 2010 World Championship and 2011 World Cup.
• Zhejia Zhang (8) was China's leading points scorer in the straight-sets defeat against Iran. The Chinese had four players with at least eight points in their opening match versus Germany.
• Chuan Jiang (274) was the leading points scorer in the preliminary round of the 2018 VNL. He has amassed 26 points in China's opening two matches of this year's edition (20 v Germany, 6 v Iran).
• Italy began the 2019 Volleyball Nations League with a 3-1 defeat against Iran, before a straight-sets victory versus Germany. The Italians won all three matches in week one of the 2018 VNL.
• Italy can win back-to-back VNL matches in straight sets for the first time.
• Gabriele Nelli was Italy's leading scorer in both of their opening two matches in the 2019 VNL, with 20 points against Iran and 19 points versus Germany.
• Simone Giannelli is averaging 15.29 running sets per set in the 2019 VNL.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB.com - Volleyball Nations League
FIVB.com - Volleyball