Men's 2019 VNL: What to look out for and the records to beat
China's Jiang Chuan (here spiking past the Canada block of Jason Derocco and Lucas Van Berkel) set the FIVB Volleyball Nations League scoring record to beat, with 37 points in a single match against France last year.
Although it's too early yet to know exactly what lineups the 16 teams will be fielding each weekend once the competition begins, Italy has registered the youngest on average 30-player wide roster at 24 years of age. The oldest side is Brazil, at 28.
Just like last year, Brazil have registered the oldest team on average for the 2019 FIVB Men's Volleyball National League
The youngest player amongst the 460 registered is Iran's Mehran Feyzemamdoust, born on 23 November 2001. At the other end of the range, Brazil's Raphael Vieira de Oliveira, born on 14 June 1979, will celebrate his 40th birthday during this year's VNL season.
The tallest team on average are defending champions Russia, at exactly the 2m mark, towering 12 centimetres above Japan who stand on average at 1.88m.
Dmitry Muserskiy of Russia is the tallest of the players registered at 2.18m, but it's unlikely he will be competing this season as he's scheduled for surgery. The next tallest, just one centimetre below, is Brazil's Renan Buiatti.
But aside from the physical extremes of the 16 teams, take note of records set last year and ready to be broken as the VNL enters its second edition.
Records ready to fall
Five players scored 30 points or more at the inaugural VNL last year, with China's Jiang Chuan hitting the high mark of 37 as he led his team to a five-set victory over France. But France's Stephen Boyer was the only player to make the list in the Final Six at Lille, scoring 31 points in the hosts' five-set semifinal win over USA.
Brazil's Wallace de Souza, who got to play four matches more than Jiang after the South Americans qualified to the Final Six, emerged overall top scorer of the competition with 277 points from 19 matches.
Also look out for individual blocking and serving records in a single match that could fall during the 2019 VNL.
• Most blocks: 7 - Saman Faezi, Iran (v China, 3-0); Liu Libin, China (v AUS, 1-3); Kevin Le Roux, France (v Brazil, 3-0); Lucas Saatkamp, Brazil (v Serbia, 3-0).
• Most aces: 6 - Lincoln Williams, Australia (v Russia, 1-3); Graham Vigrass, Canada (v Bulgaria, 0-3); Igor Philippov, Russia (v USA, 3-0).
The best team performances in these skills were 14 aces by Italy in their five-set win over Brazil and 18 stuffs again by Italy in their five-set defeat to Korea.
Other records to be beaten:
• Longest match: 2:31 - Australia v China (3-1).
• Quickest match: 1:12 - France v Korea (3-0) & France v Serbia (3-0).
• Longest set (regular): 0:47 - Australia v China (3-1), 2nd set 41-39.
• Quickest set (regular): 0:21 - France v Iran, 4th set 25-17 & France v China (2-3), 1st set 25-16.
• Highest-scoring match: 234 points - Australia v China (3-1).
• Lowest-scoring match: 126 points - France v Russia (3-0).
• Highest-scoring set: 41-39 - 2nd set Australia v China (3-1).
• Lowest-scoring set: 25-11 - 3rd set USA v Korea (3-0).
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB.com - Volleyball Nations League
FIVB.com - Volleyball
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