USA in bid to extend unbeaten run in match with Bulgaria


Osaka, Japan, 5 October 2018 - Defending champions USA look to remain undefeated in the 2018 FIVB World Championship whne they go head-to-head with Bulgaria on Sunday. The American side completed Round 1 of the competition with a 5-0 run. Including the 2014 World Championship, USA can extend their run to 9-0. It is the fourth time USA and Bulgaria clash in a World Championship, with the Balkan side leading the series 2-1 (though they haven't beaten the Americans in 20 years).

• Bulgaria and United States will meet for the fourth time at the World Championship.
• Bulgaria won the first two meetings, 3-1 in 1956 and 3-0 in 1998.
• United States won their last meeting at the 2014 World Championship in straight sets in the second round.
• United States won both their other encounters at world level major tournaments: 3-0 at the 1981 World Cup and 3-2 at the 2013 World Grand Prix.
• World level major tournaments are: Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Prix, Grand Champions Cup and Nations League.

• Bulgaria won two of their five matches in the first round, winning against Cuba and Canada, while losing against Italy, Turkey and China.
• Bulgaria can win successive world championship matches for the first time since three first round matches in 2014 against Turkey, Cameroon and Canada.
• In each of Bulgaria's last two matches, the team that won the first set lost the match.
• Only Italy's Anna Danesi (70) had more block attempts in the first round than Hristina Ruseva (60). Her average of 0.82 blocks per set rank Ruseva joint-fifth among all players.
• Gergana Dimitrova was Bulgaria's top scorer in the first round on 63 points. Nasya Dimitrova (58) is the other player in Bulgaria's squad on 50+ points.

United States
• Reigning world champions United States won all their first round matches. They started with two straight set wins, but ended with two five-setters.
• United States won their first eight matches at the 2014 World Championship, of which five victories came in straight sets.
• Including their last three matches at the 2014 World Championship, United States can win nine successive world championship matches for the first time since 2006-2010.
• United States have lost only one of their last 22 world level major tournament matches, the 3-1 defeat against Serbia at this year's Nations League on 12 June 2018.
• Kelly Murphy is United States' top scorer on 60 points, ranking her only joint-18th among all players.


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