Varna, Bulgaria, June 14, 2019 – Italy defeated Japan in the 2019 men's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Friday. Find our more on the dedicated Match Centre pages.
Japan – Italy (June 14, 2019)
• Italy have a W27-L8 record against Japan at major world level competitions (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup).
• Japan's only win in their last nine world level meetings with Italy was a five-set victory at last year's VNL.
• Japan's last six wins against Italy at world level all came in five sets.
• Italy lost only four sets in their last seven world level encounters with Japan, in a 3-2 defeat at last year's VNL and a 3-1 win at the 2017 Grand Champions Cup.
• Japan lost both of their last two Volleyball Nations League matches in straight sets.
• Japan could fail to win a set in three consecutive VNL matches for the first time.
• The most recent occasion Japan failed to win a set in three consecutive matches within a single world level tournament was at the 2013 Grand Champions Cup (4 in a row).
• Yuki Ishikawa (83) is Japan's leading points scorer this VNL campaign. Ishikawa finished as Japan's top scorer/joint top scorer in four of their six VNL matches this year.
• After two weeks of play, Yuji Nishida is fifth on the best attacker list with a success rate of 54.31%.
• Italy lost 3-0 to Russia in their most recent Volleyball Nations League match, ending a four-match winning run in the competition.
• Italy have not failed to win a set in consecutive major world level matches since the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.
• Gabriele Nelli (106) is the second-best scorer in this year's VNL, just one point behind Canada's Sharone Vernon-Evans (107).
• Nelli also ranks fourth on the best attacker list (54.76%) and third on the best server list (0.45) after two weeks of play.
• Simone Giannelli (8.85) is the second-best setter, while Fabio Balaso (2.40) is in third place on the best digger list after two weeks of play.
Bulgaria – Australia (June 14, 2019)
• Bulgaria and Australia will meet for the fifth time in a world level major competition. Bulgaria won the first three encounters, but lost the most recent one.
• World level major tournaments are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
• Australia's only world level major tournament victory against Bulgaria came in last year's Volleyball Nations League. They won in straight sets with Lincoln Alexander Williams scoring a match-high 15 points.
• Bulgaria's first two world level victories versus Australia came in straight sets (2007 World Cup, 2012 Olympic Games). Their other victory against them was a five-setter in the 2016 World League.
• Bulgaria won two of their six matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, the same record as they had after the opening two weeks of the 2018 edition (won their seventh match in straight sets against Japan).
• Bulgaria won two of their three VNL matches in Varna last year.
• Nikolay Uchikov (84) is Bulgaria's leading points scorer in the 2019 VNL. He was also their leading scorer in the 2018 VNL (169).
• Nikolay Uchikov was Bulgaria's leading points scorer in only one of their three matches in week two of the 2019 VNL. He was their leading or joint-leading points scorers in all three matches in week one.
• Svetoslav Gotsev (0.65) is the leading European blocker after the opening two weeks of the 2019 VNL.
• Australia lost each of their opening five matches of the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, before a straight sets victory against Germany.
• Only once before have Australia won consecutive VNL matches, a run of four in June 2018.
• Australia could record consecutive world level major tournament victories in straight sets for the first time since the 2017 World League (versus China and Slovakia).
• Lincoln Alexander Williams (61) is Australia's leading points scorer in the 2019 VNL, including a match-high 15 points in the straight sets win against Germany.
• Samuel Walker (fourth in Best Servers) is the only Australia player in the top 10 of one of the main statistical categories after the opening two weeks of the 2019 VNL.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB.com - Volleyball Nations League
FIVB.com - Volleyball