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Talking Stats: Russia overcome five-set losing spell; Italy end losing streak

Russia foiled the Final Round debut of Iran in a five-set match

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 16, 2014 – Russia prevailed a five-set match against Iran, while Italy scored a straight sets victory over USA, in the opening matches of the Final Six of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League at the Nelson Mandela Forum on Wednesday.

Statistical Review – Day 1 – World League Finals

Iran put on a commanding performance as they stunned defending champions Russia in the first set. The Russians later on raced to triumph on the succeeding two sets. On the fourth set, the match went down to the wire as both teams refused to give up – Russia wanting to secure the match, while Iran aiming to extend the match into the tiebreaker – bringing the set score to a close at 37-35 in favour of Iran.

Iran used its fourth set momentum to start their fifth set run but Russia paced to counter-attack and establish a significant lead to secure set and match.

- Russia finally broke their five-setter losing spell after losing their last four five-set matches in this season.

- For the first time since the 2011 World League final, Russia won a Final Round match after losing the first set.

- Iran won the fourth set 37-35, which equalled the most points in a single set in Groups 1 and 2, it was also the most points conceded in a set for Russia which they lost.

- Russia have now won nine of their last 10 Final Round matches in the World League.

Meanwhile, Italy pierced the defence of USA just enough to finish the match in straight sets. The Italians showed better control in the end game and commanded strong performances from Ivan Zaytsev and Jiri Kovar, who scored 21 and 10 points, respectively.

- Italy have ended their longest losing streak of six matches in World League history.

- USA are on a downhill and have now lost three of their last four World League matches – all three are straight-set defeats.

- The last time Italy started the Final Round with a straight sets victory was in 2004 in Rome, where the Final Round was last held in Italy.

- Italy have now won three World League matches without losing a set this season, equalling their total straight set wins from 2013.

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