Ningbo, China, June 18, 2019 - China claimed a three-set victory against Bulgaria in 2019 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League Pool 18 after Germany defeated world champions Serbia earlier in the day.
Serbia - Germany (June 19, 2019)
· Serbia (incl. predecessors) have won three of their seven major world level meetings with Germany (incl. East & West Germany), including each of their last two.
· Serbia won in straight sets in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (preliminary) and at the 2018 World Championship (2nd round). Brankica Mihajlovic (19 at VNL) and Tijana Boškovic (17 at WCh) finished as top scorers in those matches.
· Germany's last world level victory over Serbia was a 3-1 at the 2015 World Grand Prix.
· At the European Championships, Serbia (incl. predecessors) have a W6-L11 record against German teams. One of those wins came in the 2011 final (3-2), Serbia's first win in the competition.
· Serbia have lost their last five matches in the 2019 VNL.
· Serbia could lose six consecutive matches within a single major world level tournament for the first time.
· Serbia's seven defeats in the 2019 VNL are already the most for the team in a specific world level tournament.
· Katarina Lazovic and MIlica Kubura were Serbia's top scorers against Bulgaria on 16 points each.
· Lazovic leads her team in scoring in the 2019 VNL on 125 points, five more than Ana Bjelica (120). Last year, Tijana Boškovic finished the preliminary round in third place in the top scorers list on 238 points.
· Maja Aleksic has 39 stuff blocks in this year's VNL, an average of 0.85 per set. She has already surpassed Jovana Stevanovic's 32 blocks as Serbia's top blocker from the preliminary round in 2018.
· Germany have won five of their 13 matches in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, as many as they managed in last year's campaign (W5-L10).
· Germany could win at least six matches at a single world level tournament for the first time since the 2017 World Grand Prix (team record 9 wins).
· Germany could lose three matches in a row for the second time in the 2019 VNL, after three defeats in week 1.
· Louisa Lippmann has scored 192 points in the 2019 VNL. Last year, Lippmann scored 224 points in the preliminary round.
· Denise Hanke (average 4.07) is among the better setters in the Best Setter category.
· Lenka Dürr is among the best diggers, recording 146 digs for an average of 3.17 per set.
China - Bulgaria (June 19, 2019)
· China have a W6-L2 record against Bulgaria in major world level competitions. Their six wins came in their last six encounters.
· Bulgaria's world level victories against China came at the 1974 World Championship (3-1) and at the 1956 World Championship (3-1).
· China defeated Bulgaria 3-1 in the 2018 World Championship first round after losing the first set, their most recent world level encounter. Ting Zhu scored a match-high 21 points.
· China's 3-0 victory over Germany on Tuesday was their 10th win in the 2019 VNL. They won nine VNL matches in 2018.
· China have won eight matches in straight sets in the 2019 VNL. The only specific world level tournament in which they had more 3-0 wins was in the 2005 World Grand Prix (9).
· China are already qualified for the final round as they host this phase, just like last year.
· China had four players scoring nine or more points in the 3-0 win versus Germany. Changning Zhang led her team in scoring on 12 points, one more than Xinyue Yuan (11) and Xiangyu Gong (11). Yingying Li had nine points.
· Ting Zhu (104), Xinyue Yuan (99) and Xiangyu Gong (91) are China's top scoring players in the 2019 VNL. China had five players on 100+ points in the preliminary round of the 2018 VNL, including the three current top scorers.
· Xinyue Yuan is among the best blockers in the 2019 VNL with an average of 0.60.
· Bulgaria have won two matches in a row in the 2019 VNL, after losing their first 11 games in the tournament.
· Bulgaria can win three matches in a row at a single world level tournament for the first time since the 2016 World Grand Prix (3).
· Mira Todorova has won 31 points from stuff blocks (0.65 per set). Only 10 players had more stuff blocks in last year's entire preliminary round.
· Miroslava Paskova (16) and Nasya Dimitrova (15) scored the most points for Bulgaria in the 3-1 win against Serbia. Seven of Dimitrova's points came from stuff blocks.
· Gergana Dimitrova (178) leads Bulgaria in points in the 2019 VNL.
· Gergana Dimitrova is also her team's best receiver with 65 excellents (17.52 average).
· Zhana Todorova's average of 3.48 in the Best Digger category is one of the highest in the tournament.