Gondomar, Portugal, June 15, 2019 – Brazil defeated China in three sets in the first match on Saturday in Gondomar in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Brazil – China (June 15, 2019)
• Brazil and China meet for the 19th time in a major world level competition (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup). China won the first five encounters (1956-1978), but Brazil have won all 13 since (1981-2018).
• Eight of Brazil's last 11 victories against China came in straight sets, including each of the last three since a 3-2 defeat at the 2011 World Cup.
• China's last win over Brazil at major world level came at the 1978 World Championships (3-1).
• Brazil defeated China in straight sets at the 2018 VNL, their most recent world level encounter. Wallace De Souza won 21 points that day, at least eight more than any other player.
• Brazil lost a match in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League on Friday (3-2 vs. Serbia) and became the last country lose their match for the first time.
• The last time Brazil lost consecutive matches at major world level competition was in the semi-finals and final 3-4 of last season's VNL (vs. Russia and USA).
• Brazil had won their last six five-set matches at major world level tournament, before losing against Serbia. The last time they lost back-to-back five setters was against Bulgaria (2018 VNL League Round) and against France (2018 VNL Final Round).
• Ricardo Lucarelli Souza has an 59% success rate in attacks, a tournament high.
• China's only win at the 2019 Volleyball Nations League was a 3-0 victory against Bulgaria on 7 June.
• That victory over Bulgaria is China's only win in their last nine VNL matches. At major world level, it is China's only victory in their last 14 fixtures.
• Zhejia Zhang (0.83 average per set) is the best blocker this VNL campaign after seven matchrounds.
• Zhang's 19 points from stuff blocks are most of all players in the 2019 VNL.
• Guojun Zhan (4.78) is one of a select group of players averaging at least four sets per set in the 2019 VNL.
Portugal – Serbia (June 15, 2019)
• Serbia (incl. predecessors) have won nine of their 10 world level major competition matches against Portugal (FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup).
• Portugal's only world level victory against Serbia came at the 2011 World League (3-2).
• Portugal have won six sets in their last four world level matches against Serbia, all at the 2011 World League, after failing to win a single set in their first six.
• On Friday, Portugal registered their second win in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League. They have five defeats in the competition.
• Portugal could win back-to-back home matches in major world level tournaments for the first time since the 2014 World League.
• Five of Portugal's seven VNL matches have ended in straight sets (1 win, 4 defeats). None of their seven matches went to a fifth set.
• In each of the seven matches involving Portugal in the VNL, the team winning the first set also went on to win the match.
• Marco Ferreira (14) and Alexandre Ferreira (12) reached double figures for Portugal against China on Friday.
• Serbia have won three consecutive Volleyball Nations League matches, after they began the 2019 tournament with four defeats in a row.
• Serbia lost four of their 15 matches in the preliminary round of the 2018 VNL.
• Each of Serbia's last five VNL matches have gone to a deciding set (W3-L2). They have been involved in nine VNL five-setters in total, a joint-tournament high with Brazil.
• It is the first time Serbia (and predecessors) have played five consecutive five setters at world level major competition.
• Dusan Petkovic is Serbia's top scorer on 110 points.
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