Kortrijk, Belgium, June 5, 2019 – Serbia are seeking to continue to extend their five-match winning streak against Russia, while Belgium and Poland are meeting for the second time at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Russia – Serbia (June 5, 2019)
• Serbia are on a five-match winning streak against Russia at major world level (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Prix and Grand Champions Cup), since a 3-2 defeat at the 2015 World Grand Prix.
• Serbia have a W7-L5 record against Russia at major world level competitions.
• Their most recent major encounter came at last year's FIVB Volleyball Nations League, when Serbia won in straight sets. Tijana Boškovic scored a match-high 26 points that day.
• At the European Championships, Russia (incl. Soviet Union) are unbeaten against Serbia (incl. Serbia and Montenegro & Yugoslavia). Russia won all 10 meetings, including most recently in the semi-finals in 2015 (3-1).
• Serbia have won four and lost three of their first seven matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League.
• Serbia's three defeats are as many as they recorded in the entire group phase in the 2018 VNL. Including the final round, Serbia lost five matches in total at last year's VNL.
• Serbia could become the first reigning world champions to lose at least four matches at the first world level tournament following the World Championship since Russia lost five matches at the 2011 World Grand Prix.
• Katarina Lazovic scored a team-high 18 points against Poland on Tuesday, at least five more than any other Serbia player.
• Ana Bjelica is Serbia's top scorer in the 2019 VNL on 82 points, only eight shy from her total points tally at last year's preliminary round.
• Russia are on a five-match losing streak in the 2019 VNL. Four of those defeats were in straight sets.
• Russia could lose six successive world level major tournament matches for the first time since Soviet Union lost seven in a row at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games (final against Japan) and the 1977 World Cup combined.
• Russia have lost four matches in straight sets in the 2019 VNL. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the only world level tournaments in which Russia lost that many matches by a 3-0 scoreline were the 2018 VNL (6) and the 2015 World Grand Prix (4).
• Margarita Kurilo is Russia's top scorer in the 2019 VNL on 100 points. She only came off the bench against Belgium on Tuesday, when Tatiana Iurinskaia led her team with 11 points.
• Daria Chikrizova is among the best diggers in the tournament, averaging 2.13 per set.
Belgium – Poland (June 5, 2019)
• On 7 June 2018, Poland came from behind to beat Belgium 3-1 in Bydgoszcz, in these teams' only previous FIVB Volleyball Nations League meeting. Poland's Malwina Smarzek scored 27 points, at least 13 points more than any other player on the field.
• The nations' only other meetings in world level major competitions (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Prix and Grand Champions Cup) all came at the 2014 World Grand Prix. Belgium won twice, both in straight sets. Poland won the first meeting 3-1.
• Poland won all six matches against Belgium at the European Championships, with the most recent of those matches a 3-1 victory in Lódz in 2009.
• Belgium have won four and lost three matches in this year's Volleyball Nations League.
• Belgium can already surpass their total wins from the 2018 VNL, when they won four matches. The only world level tournament in which they won more than four matches was the 2014 World Grand Prix - eight victories.
• Belgium have won back-to-back VNL matches in straight sets for the first time, against Thailand and Russia.
• Belgium could win three successive VNL matches for the first time.
• Britt Herbots is one of a select group of 2019 VNL players with more than 100 points scored. Her 20-point effort against Russia lifted Herbots to 110 total points.
• Marlies Janssens has recorded 15 aces and her average of 0.63 per set is the best in this year's VNL.
• Poland saw their five-match winning streak in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League come to an end on Tuesday, when they lost in straight sets against Serbia.
• Poland have won 11 of their last 14 matches in the VNL. Their defeats came back-to-back against Dominican Republic (June 2018) and Italy (May 2019) and on Tuesday against Serbia.
• Malwina Smarzek leads all players in this year's VNL on 191 points, including 170 points from spikes. Smarzek became top scorer in the match against Serbia, with 19 points (all spikes).
• Agnieszka Kakolewska (0.89) has the highest stuff block average per set of all players in the 2019 VNL.
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