Bartosz Bednorz (22) and Poland celebrate a point in Chicago
Chicago, USA, July 10, 2019 - In a clash between two in-form teams, the first match of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Finals in Chicago produced a five set win for a young Poland squad 3-2 (25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-9) against Brazil. Bartosz Bednorz was his team Poland's top scorer with 18 points. Brazil's Wallace De Souza scored 21 in the losing effort.
The South Americans defeated their European rivals in four sets in week 1 of the Preliminary Round in Katowice when Ricardo Lucarelli and Yoandy Leal combined to lead their team to victory, but this time it was their European rivals who prevailed.
Brazil entered the Finals as the team to beat after claiming a total of 14 wins over the course of the Preliminary Round, losing just once to Serbia in week 3 in Gondomar, Portugal. Poland, on the other hand, won 11 of their 15 matches to end the Preliminary Round in fifth position.
Brazil finished the inaugural edition of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League just behind the USA, in fourth place. Poland were fifth, tied with Serbia.Match centre: Brazil-PolandPre-match stats:Brazil - Poland (July 10, 2019)
· Brazil have a W39-L19 record in their 58 matches against Poland in world level major competitions (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup).
· Brazil beat Poland 3-1 in the preliminary round of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League. The Brazilians outscored Poland in stuff blocks 13 to six in that match.
· In the 2018 VNL, Brazil also won their match against Poland by a 3-1 score.
· Poland's last victory over Brazil was a 3-0 win in the final of the 2018 World Championship. Bartosz Kurek scored 24 points in that match and was named MVP of the tournament.Brazil
· Brazil can become the first men's team to have won all major world level competitions at least once, by winning the 2019 VNL.
· Brazil finished fourth in the 2018 VNL, losing the bronze medal match 3-0 to USA.
· Brazil have won their last eight matches in the VNL, since suffering their only defeat in this year's tournament, 3-2 against Serbia on 14 June.
· This eight-match winning streak is Brazil's longest run in the VNL.· Yoandy Leal Hidalgo is Brazil's top scorer in the 2019 VNL on 160 points. In the 2018 VNL final round, Wallace De Souza was Brazil's top scorer on 61 points.
· Ricardo Lucarelli Souza's spike success rate of 56.6% was the third-best of all players in the 2019 preliminary round.
· Thales Hoss led all players in the preliminary round on a 25.98% efficiency as best receiver. Poland's best receiver was Bartosz Kwolek on 11.67%.Poland
· Poland last two trophies in world level major competitions were the world titles in 2014 and 2018. They beat Brazil in the final of both these world championships.
· Poland lost both matches in last year's VNL final round, 3-1 to Russia and 3-0 to USA.
· Poland have won their last seven matches in the VNL, their longest winning run in the competition.· Aleksandar Sliwka is Poland's top scorer in this year's VNL on 118 points. He scored five points in the final round in 2018, when Bartosz Kurek was their top scorer on 22 points.
· Poland has 22 players to have scored points in this year's VNL, most of all teams. Brazil have 14 players in the scoring charts.