Italy are seeking their third win at the 2019 VNL
Ufa, Russia, June 7, 2019 – Italy are aiming for their third straight win, while defending champions Russia are seeking to bounce back following their loss in their third match in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Italy – United States (June 7, 2019)
• United States beat Italy 3-0 in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League. USA had 12 points from blocks in this match, against three for Italy.
• USA's last four wins against Italy at world level tournaments all were straight-sets victories.
• World level major tournaments are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
• Italy's last win against USA was a 3-1 victory at the Grand Champions Cup in 2017.
• Italy started their 2019 VNL campaign with a 3-1 loss against Iran, but they won both of their next matches in straight sets.
• Italy can win three consecutive world level major tournament matches in straight sets for the first time since a run of four in the 2016 World League. That run ended versus USA (3-0 loss).
Last year, Italy won three of their first four matches in the VNL, losing 3-1 against Canada in match four of the tournament.
• With 57 points in the 2019 VNL, Gabriele Nelli is Italy's top scorer. He is only trailing Russia's Egor Kliuka (64) in the tournament's top scorers list.
• Simone Giannelli is the second best server of this year's tournament with an average of 0.6 per set.
• United States started their 2019 Volleyball Nations League campaign with back-to-back losses before a 3-1 win against Australia.
• USA won their first five matches in the 2018 VNL, before a loss against Brazil (3-2).
• Torey Defalco is the team's leading top scorer in the 2019 VNL on 33 points. He had 93 points in last year's preliminary round.
• Mitchell Stahl (10 stuff blocks) is the second-best blocker this tournament with an average of 0.83 per set. He only trails Argentina's Sebastian Solé (0.9).
Russia – Portugal (June 7, 2019)
• This will be only the second major encounter at world level between Russia and Portugal.
• World level major competitions are: Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League and Grand Champions Cup.
• These teams met at the 2002 World Championship. In the group stage of that tournament, Russia defeated Portugal in straight sets in Córdoba, Argentina.
• After that, they met twice at European Championships. Both meetings, in 2005 and 2011, were won 3-1 by Russia.
• Russia have enjoyed a similar start to their Volleyball Nations League campaign last season, winning two of their first three matches.
• Last season, Russia took two from three in each of the first three weeks of the competition, before reeling off three straight wins in Week 4.
• In the opening week of the 2019 VNL, Egor Kliuka emerged as the tournament's leading points scorer on 64 points.
• Egor Kliuka has registered 11 of his 64 points in the tournament off serves. No other player in the tournament has recorded more than six aces thus far.
• Portugal have started their maiden Volleyball Nations League campaign with straight sets defeats against Argentina and Canada, followed by a 3-1 victory over Bulgaria.
• They last recorded back-to-back victories at world level major tournaments in the 2017 World League, 3-1 versus both Egypt and Finland.
• Marco Ferreira paced Portugal on 21 points in their very first Volleyball Nations League victory, the 3-1 triumph against Bulgaria last Sunday.
• Portugal are led in scoring by his brother Alexandre Ferreira on 36 points, with 30 of those coming off spikes.
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