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United States take on new rivals Brazil for VNL title defence

 

Nanjing, China, July 7, 2019 – The United States are set to face their new rivals – Brazil – in the final of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Sunday. Last year, USA defeated Turkey to win the title, while Brazil missed the podium following their loss to hosts China.

USA and Brazil met on Friday in their final round pool play match, where the North American side outclassed the South American squad in four sets, courtesy of the 33-point performance by Jordan Thompson.

In their respective semifinal encounters, Brazil denied Turkey of making it to the final round for the second time with a straight-set win, while USA overcome the strong challenge of the home team in a four-set match.

United States-Brazil Match Centre

Pre-match stats:

United States - Brazil (July 7, 2019)

Head-to-Head

• Brazil and United States meet for the fourth time in a Volleyball Nations League match. In 2018, United States won 3-1 in the preliminary round; in 2019, Brazil won 3-1 in the preliminary round and United States 3-1 in the final round on Friday.
• Brazil and United States have played 57 world level major tournament matches against each other, with United States winning 25 and Brazil 32.
• World level major tournament matches are Nations League, World Grand Prix, World Championship, World Cup, Olympic Games and Grand Champions Cup.
• United States and Brazil meet in the gold medal match of a world level major tournament for the fifth time. Brazil won three of the previous four, United States one.
• Brazil won the final of the 2008 and the 2012 Olympic Games (both 3-1) and the 2016 World Grand Prix (3-2) against USA. United States won the 2011 World Grand Prix after beating Brazil 3-0 in the decider.

Brazil
• Brazil beat Turkey 3-0 in the semi-final to proceed to their first ever Volleyball Nations League final.
• Last year, Brazil lost their semifinal 3-0 against Turkey en route to a fourth place in the final ranking.
• Brazil have already won Olympic gold (2 times), the World Grand Prix (12 times) and the Grand Champions Cup (2 times).
• Brazil won 14 total matches in the 2018 VNL, joint most for them in a world level major tournament alongside the 2009 World Grand Prix. They are on 13 in this year's event, so they could equal their best mark with a win in the final.
Gabriela Braga Guimaraes is in third place on the top scorers list of the 2019 VNL with 258 points. While number one Malwina Swarzek (Poland, 421) is without reach, she could still climb to second place, currently held by Turkey's Ebrar Karakurt (260).
Gabriela Braga Guimaraes is the most efficient receiver in the 2019 VNL, with 31%. Leia Henrique Da Silva Nicolosi is third in that ranking with 25%.
Only Serbia's Maja Aleksic (0.89) averages more stuff blocks per set in the 2019 VNL than Ana Beatriz Correa (0.69).

United States

• United States have reached their second Volleyball Nations League final. They won the inaugural edition of the VNL in 2018, defeating Turkey in five sets in the final in Nanjing.
• That semi-final win against Turkey was United States's 400th victory in world level major tournaments.
• United States also won the World Championships (2014) and the World Grand Prix (6 times).
• United States recorded 15 wins in the 2019 VNL. Their only world level major tournament with more matches won was the 2018 VNL (17).
• United States have won eight straight VNL matches since a 3-0 defeat against Turkey on 11 June. Their most recent longer run of victories in world level major tournaments came in the 2018 VNL (10).
Andrea Drews is USA's leading points scorer on 202 points. She is the second-best attacker in the 2019 VNL with a 47.27% spike success rate, trailing only Dominican Republic's Brayelin Elizabeth Martinez (47.57%).
Drews and Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (21 points each) led United States in scoring in the semi-final against Turkey. Kelsey Robinson (15) was the other American reaching double figures.

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