World League week 5 statistical review: Russia and Argentina extend winning streaks
Russia began the World League with four losses, but subsequently produced four wins|
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 24, 2014 -
Defending champions Russia started the Intercontinental Round of the FIVB
Volleyball World League with four defeats in pool B, but have now recovered by
winning their last four matches in straight sets.
The last time Russia recorded four consecutive World League wins by a 3-0
scoreline was in 2011, when they beat Germany, Bulgaria and Japan, all twice in
straight sets. Their four victories this season came from their 3-0 defeats of
Bulgaria in the fourth week and Serbia in the fifth week, when the Russians had
home advantage in Surgut.
Serbia, on the other hand, have suffered four defeats in a row in a single
World League campaign for the first time since 1998, when Yugoslavia lost their
first four matches of the season.
Meanwhile, Argentina are on an impressive run, earning victories in their last
six matches in pool D. They beat Germany twice for a six-match winning streak,
which is the third time the Argentines have achieved such a feat in the World
League, following their seven consecutive wins in 2006 and their eight straight
wins in 2011. Argentina are spot on in their campaign this season as they have
won four of their last five matches in straight sets.
In the other pool D match, France kept up their momentum as they beat Japan
twice and have now won 12 of their last 13 World League matches. Japan, on the
other hand, have taken only 11 of the 48 sets they have played so far this
season. France are on nine wins in 10 matches this season, while Japan are
still looking for their first victory after 10 matches.
Brazil and Poland produced one victory each in their two matches. Poland drew
first blood on the Brazilians, who suffered their sixth defeat of the season.
The last time Brazil suffered at least six losses was in 1995, when they lost
eight times. The defeats this season came uncharacteristically for the
Brazilian squad, who are usually consistent in their World League campaigns.
Somehow, however, the Brazilians managed to turn things around and produced a
3-0 win against the Polish team on Sunday to end their opponent's seven-match
unbeaten run, which is their best home record in the World League since 2007.
After earning six straight victories, Italy dropped four successive matches in
the fourth and fifth weeks. The Italians still top pool A, however. Iran
recorded a straight-sets victory in their first match against Italy.
Bulgaria, meanwhile, finally ended their losing streak, simultaneously ending
the unbeaten run of the United States. In their earlier encounter, the United
States had grabbed their seventh win. The last time the US started with seven
victories was in 2000, when they recorded 10 victories to open the season. The
Bulgarian triumph on Saturday became only the United States’ second home defeat
in their last 11 World League matches. Bulgaria were also their opponents in
their 3-1 home defeat in June 2013.
Belgium and Finland produced a draw in their two meetings in pool C, each team
winning one match. Belgium suffered only their third defeat of the season and
their second on home turf, after their 3-2 loss against Canada in week 3.
After sharing victories with Canada, Australia have already surpassed their
set-win record in their only previous World League campaign, where they won a
total of five sets in 12 Intercontinental Round matches. The Australians have
won 14 sets this season. Canada, however, lost their third Intercontinental
Round match of the season, in contrast with their 2013 record where they only
lost two matches in the same round.
In pool E, the Czech Republic prevailed in a five-setter against the Korean
side, as the Czechs got their first away win in this World League season. Then
Korea found a way to ease their misery with a straight sets win over the Czech
Republic in their second match, making them the first Asian opponent to hand
the Czech team a defeat in the World League.
The Netherlands and Portugal also shared points in the fifth week of World
League action, with a straight-sets win by the Netherlands on Saturday followed
by a tiebreaker win by Portugal on Sunday. The Dutch team have won seven of
their last nine matches on the road, while Portugal have won their fifth match
of the season. The Portuguese squad have already won more World League matches
this season than in 29 matches previously.
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