Russia power past USA to win second VNL title

 

Chicago, USA, July 14, 2019 - Russia defeated hosts the United States 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20) to claim a historic second FIVB Volleyball Nations League title on Sunday in the 2019 VNL Finals at the Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago. Russia also claimed Volleyball Nations League gold in 2018 when they defeated France in the final of the inaugural edition of the competition.

Four Russia players scored in double digits during the final, including Dmitry Volkov (17), Egor Kliuka (14), Ivan Iakovlev (12) and Victor Poletaev (11). Taylor Sander scored 20 for USA and Matt Anderson 19.

The two teams met in the pool stage of the Finals on Friday when coach John Speraw's USA players prevailed in three sets. But with the trophy at stake, the North Americans were unable to restrain a Russia team which also defeated reigning back-to-back world champions and 2019 VNL bronze medallists Poland en route to the final in yesterday's semifinals.



Match centre: Russia-USA

Pre-match stats:

United States - Brazil (July 13, 2019) 

Head-to-Head
- United States and Brazil met each other on 76 previous occasions in world level major tournaments. USA won 27 times, Brazil 49.
- World level major tournaments are World Championship, World League, Olympic Games, Grand Champions Cup, World Cup and Volleyball Nations League.
- Brazil (49 wins against USA) are one win shy of becoming the first team to beat another side 50 times in world level major tournaments.
- Brazil and United States played the bronze medal match in the 2018 VNL. USA won 3-0.
- Earlier in the 2019 VNL, Brazil beat United States 3-0 in the preliminary round. This match took place on 31 May, the first day of the 2019 VNL.
- Brazil and United States will meet for the seventh time in the semi-finals of a world level major tournament. Both sides won three times.

United States
- United States secured their semi-final spot in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League by beating France 3-1 and Russia 3-0 in the final round.
- With a win in this match, United States could better their performance from the 2018 VNL, when they lost their semi-final 3-0 against France.
- United States could win their first major world level trophy since lifting the 2015 World Cup. The last time they won a world level tournament on home soil was the gold medal at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.
- United States have lost each of their last five semi-final matches in world level major tournaments, since a 3-0 win over Iran in the 2014 World League. 
- Benjamin Patch is the most efficient attacker in the 2019 VNL, with a 55,95% spike success rate.
- Garrett Muagututia (20.21%) is one of only three players with a receiving efficiency percentage above 20% in the 2019 VNL.

Brazil
- Brazil reached the semi-finals of the 2019 VNL after two five-set matches, a defeat against Poland and a win against Iran.
- In the 2018 VNL, Brazil also lost their first and won their second final round match. In the semi-finals, Russia proved too strong (3-0).
- Brazil can become the first men's team to have won all major world level competitions at least once, by winning the 2019 Volleyball Nations League.
- Ricardo Lucarelli Souza (55,71%) is the second-most efficient attacker in the 2019 VNL, behind only USA's Benjamin Patch.
- Ricardo Lucarelli Souza has scored 194 points in the 2019 VNL. Until now, three players have crossed the 200-point mark in this year's competition: Iran's Amir Ghafour (249), Japan's Yuji Nishida (219) and Germany's Simon Hirsch (204).
- Only Japan's Yuji Nishida (23) has scored more serve winners in the 2019 VNL than Ricardo Lucarelli Souza (21).
- Thales Hoss has a 28.21% receiving efficiency in the 2019 VNL, almost 6% higher than any other player. Next up is Argentina's Santiago Danani with 22.65%.