Ufa, Russia, June 8, 2019 – Italy are hoping to keep their unbeaten record against Portugal in six encounters, while Russia are looking to keep their winning run when they meet the United States in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Italy – Portugal (June 8, 2019)
• Italy have won all six previous encounters with Portugal at world level major tournaments, all in straight sets.
• World level major tournaments are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
• For Portugal, Italy are the opponents they have played most matches against at world level major tournaments without ever winning (6).
• Italy have only played more often versus Tunisia at world level tournaments without ever losing a set (8).
• Italy could win four successive Nations League matches for the first time.
• Once before, Italy recorded a winning run of three matches, in their very first three VNL games (versus Germany, Brazil and Serbia).
• Italy dropped only one set in their last three VNL matches, in their 3-1 victory over United States on Friday.
• Gabriele Nelli scored a match-high 28 points in Italy's 3-1 win over USA on Friday. Oleg Antonov (11) and Oreste Cavuto (11) were the only other Italian players to reach double figures in scoring.
• Nelli not only led Italy in total number of points won, he also was their most successful blocker (3 points) and server (2 points).
• On their debut at the Volleyball Nations League, Portugal have won one of four matches: 3-1 against Bulgaria on 2 June.
• Portugal started week 2 with a 3-0 defeat against reigning VNL champions Russia on Friday. All of Portugal's three VNL defeats have come in straight sets (also against Argentina and Canada).
• For the second VNL match in a row, Marco Ferreira was Portugal's top scorer. After his 21 points against Bulgaria this week, he was the only player to score more than 10 points against Russia (14).
• With his final point, Marco Ferreira (46 points in total) surpassed brother Alexandre Ferreira (45) as Portugal's VNL top scorer. Alexandre scored nine points against Russia.
Russia – United States (June 8, 2019)
• United States have won 10 of their last 13 major encounters at world level with Russia, including each of their last two.
• World level major competitions are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
• They met in the Volleyball Nations League twice last season and Russia won both encounters in straight sets.
• Dmitry Volkov (16) led Russia in scoring facing USA in the League Round and Maxim Mikhaylov (16) was their top scorer versus USA in the Final Round.
• Russia lost their first match at the 2019 Volleyball Nations League (3-1 against France), but have won their last three VNL matches: 3-1 against Japan, 3-2 against Serbia and 3-0 against Portugal on Friday.
• In last year's VNL, Russia had only one winning run of more than three matches: seven victories in a row in June 2018.
• In 2018, Russia also won three of their first four matches in the VNL. They lost their fifth match 3-2 against Serbia.
• Russia (13) are the only team to have claimed more than 10 straight-set victories in the VNL.
• Dmitry Volkov (15 points) was Russia's top scorer in the 3-0 win over Portugal on Friday. Volkov was the only player on the field to score points from attacks (10), blocks (3) and serves (2).
• Egor Kliuka scored a match-high three points from aces against Portugal, to bring his total tally in the competition to 14 points from aces.
• After their 3-1 defeat to Italy on Friday, United States have now lost three of their four matches at the 2019 Volleyball Nations League so far.
• Last year, USA started their VNL campaign with five successive victories before falling 3-2 to Brazil in match number six.
• United States could already equal their total defeats from the preliminary round in the 2018 VNL: four losses in 15 matches.
• Six of their last seven victories at the VNL United States claimed in straight-sets. The only exception in this run was their 3-1 victory over Australia on 2 June 2019.
• Benjamin Patch scored a team-high 24 points in USA's defeat to Italy on Friday.
• Garrett Muagututia scored a match-high three points from serves in USA's defeat to Italy on Friday.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB.com - Volleyball Nations League
FIVB.com - Volleyball