Italy won five of their six matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League
Hong Kong, China, June 3, 2019 – The Italians are hoping to claim their sixth victory in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League against the Dutch who are looking to snap their losing streak, while the Chinese take home court and winning advantage over the Japanese who are on a three-match winning run.
Netherlands – Italy (June 4, 2019)
• Italy won their most recent major encounter with Netherlands at world level (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Prix and Grand Champions Cup), a five-sets win in last year's preliminary round in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League. Paola Ogechi Egonu scored a match-high 27 points that day.
• Netherlands have a slight advantage in their head-to-head against Italy at world level (W9-L8), but they have lost four of their last seven major encounters with the Italians.
• At the European Championships, Netherlands won their last two meetings with Italy (2015, 2017), both in straight sets.
• Netherlands lost four of their six matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League. The Dutch lost five of their 17 matches in the 2018 VNL.
• Netherlands lost six of their last eight VNL matches, after they were beaten in only three of their first 15 matches in the competition.
• Netherlands could equal their longest run of losing the opening set in consecutive VNL matches - three in a row (final VNL match of 2018 and opening two VNL matches of 2019).
• Eline Timmerman is averaging 0.78 blocks per set in the 2019 VNL, behind only Poland's Agnieszka Kakolewska (0.96) and Turkey's Zehra Gunes (0.84) in the Best Blocker standings.
• Italy won five of their six matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, with the only exception a five-set defeat against United States on 29 May.
• Italy lost each of their first four VNL matches, but have been beaten in only two of their 17 matches in the competition since.
• Italy won each of their last seven VNL matches against CEV opposition, since a straight sets defeat versus Russia on 22 May 2018.
• Italy's most recent VNL match was a 3-1 win versus Serbia. Paola Ogechi Egonu scored 32 points to equal her best performance in the competition (32 points versus Japan last year).
China – Japan (June 4, 2019)
• China have won their last eight encounters with Japan at major world level (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Prix and Grand Champions Cup), since a 3-0 defeat in the Final Six at the 2014 World Grand Prix.
• China defeated Japan in straight sets in their most recent major world level meeting, at last year's FIVB Volleyball Nations League. Ting Zhu and Ai Kurogo both scored a match-high 21 points.
• These teams also met in the semi-finals of the 2018 Asian Games. China won in straight sets and ended up winning the gold medal (3-0 vs Thailand). Japan lost the bronze-medal match against Republic of Korea (3-1).
• Japan won their last two matches against China at the Asian Championships, both in 2017. They posted two straight-set wins, in the first round and in the semi-finals.
• China lost both of their first two matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, but have won all four matches since.
• China did not have a winning streak of more than two matches in the 2018 VNL.
• China's last three VNL matches were all won in straight sets. They did not concede more than 50 points in any of those three fixtures.
• China could win four consecutive matches in straight sets in a single major world level tournament for the first time since a run of five in a row at the 2015 World Cup.
• Yanhan Liu (49) is China's leading scorer in the 2019 VNL.
• Xinyue Yuan (11 stuff blocks, 0.55 avg per set) is China's leading player as blocker. Last year she had 22 stuff blocks in total in the preliminary round of the VNL.
• Japan have won three consecutive matches in the Volleyball Nations League. This is their longest VNL winning streak.
• Japan could win four consecutive matches in a single major world level tournament for the first time since a run of six in a row at the 2018 World Championship.
• Japan could win four consecutive matches in a single major world level tournament outside of Japan for the first time since the 2014 World Grand Prix (first win in Hong Kong, China, and other three wins in Macau, China).
• Yuki Ishii (108) is Japan's leading scorer in the 2019 VNL. She scored 157 points in the entire 2018 VNL.
• Setter Miya Sato is in the top-10 of players with the highest average per set (2.41) in this year's VNL.