Chicago, USA, July 12, 2019 - The last match in 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Pool A saw hosts USA defeat last year's tournament winners Russia 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-20) as the North Americans claimed a first victory against their opponents in the fourth encounter between the two teams in the competition.
Both teams claimed victories against France in their opening matches in Pool A and Friday's encounter confirmed USA as the Pool A winners ahead of the semifinals on Saturday, when coach John Speraw's team will take on Olympic champions Brazil. Russia will play back-to-back world champions Poland in the other semifinal.
Match centre: USA-Russia
United States - Russia (July 12, 2019)
- United States have a W25-L37 record against Russia (incl. predecessors) in world level major competitions (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup).
- Russia have won all their three matches against USA in the Volleyball Nations League in straight sets.
- Russia are the only opponents in the VNL USA have not won a single set against.
- USA's most recent victories against Russia were two wins at the 2018 World Championship, 3-1 in the first round and 3-0 in the third round.
- On US soil, USA have won the last five matches against Russia in world level major competitions, since a 3-1 loss in Wichita in the 2010 World League.
- United States could win their first major world level trophy since lifting the 2015 World Cup.
- The last time they won a world level tournament on home soil was the gold medal at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.
- USA beat Brazil to claim third place in the 2018 VNL. They won their first match in the finals against Poland before losing to Russia and then France in the semi-finals.
- USA's top scorer this year, Benjamin Patch (147), is among the best attackers in the competition with 138 spikes from 245 attempts (56.33%).
- Aaron Russell and Maxwell Holt (both 16) collected the most points for USA in their most recent VNL match. Patch won only one point as a substitute in the fourth set.
- With an efficiency of 19.01%, Garrett Muagututia is one of the best receivers in the 2019 VNL.
- Russia could win the first two editions of the Volleyball Nations League. They also won the first two Olympic gold medals in men's volleyball (as URS in 1964, 1968) and the first two world championships (as URS in 1949, 1952).
- Russia won 28 matches and lost seven in the VNL. No team won more matches and lost fewer fixtures than Russia in the competition.
- Russia recorded 19 straight-set victories in the VNL, at least six more than any other team.
- Ilyas Kurkaev is the best blocker in the 2019 VNL. He won 31 points from stuff blocks, averaging 0.54 per set.