Multiple champions Russia are back for more in Pool D
Multiple European champions Russia are the obvious ‘headliner’ in Pool D of the upcoming CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women, whose matches will be taking place at Ondrej Nepela Ice Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia. After qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in rather dramatic fashion earlier this month, Russia will be hoping to make amends for their disappointing EuroVolley campaign from two years ago when they lost in the quarterfinals to Turkey.
Apart from co-hosts Slovakia, their pool features a number of up-and-coming teams such as Belarus and Spain, plus Switzerland – who qualified for EuroVolley for the first time in their history. Moreover, even though they have a rather young squad, Germany remain certainly a force to reckon with.
• Russia won the European Championship a record 19 times (13 as Soviet Union, 6 as Russia). No other country has won the competition more than twice.
• Russia (incl. Soviet Union) is the only country to have been ever present at the European Championship (1949-2019).
• Russia finished in sixth place at the 2017 European Championship, after having won the title in 2013 and 2015.
• Russia lost only three of their previous 38 European Championship matches against the other teams in Pool D - 3-2 defeats against East Germany in the 1983 final round and 1987 final (both as Soviet Union) and a 3-0 loss versus Germany in the 2003 group stage. Russia are unbeaten against Belarus (W6-L0), Spain (W3-L0), Switzerland (W2-L0) and Slovakia (W1-L0).
• Since the German reunification in 1990, Germany participated in each of the European Championships held. Germany's best result in that period is finishing runners-up to Serbia in 2011 and to Russia in 2013.
• East Germany won the European Championship on two occasions, in 1983 and 1987. East Germany defeated Soviet Union in the 1987 final, while finishing ahead of Soviet Union in second place in the 1983 final round.
• German teams are unbeaten against Belarus (W3-L0), Switzerland (W2-L0), Spain (W1-L0) and Slovakia (W1-L0) at the European Championship. They have three wins and 23 defeats against Russia and Soviet Union.
• Germany defeated Russia in straight sets in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, ending an eight-match losing run against them in major world level competitions.
• Belarus appear at the European Championship for the ninth time. Belarus recorded their best result in the competition in 2017, a seventh place.
• Belarus failed to defeat any of their opponents in Pool D at previous European Championships. They played Russia six times and Germany three times.
• Belarus won five of their last nine matches at the European Championships.
Slovakia participate at the European Championship for the fourth time, after 2003 (11th place), 2007 (13th) and 2009 (13th). Slovakia lost both of their previous European Championship matches against the other teams in Pool D - 3-0 defeats against Germany and Russia in the 2003 group stage.
Spain competed at the European Championship from 2005 to 2013, with the country's best result a ninth place in 2009. Spain recorded four defeats in their previous European Championship matches against their opponents in Pool D, three against Russia and one versus Germany.
• Switzerland played at three previous European Championships: 1967 (13th place), 1971 (12th) and 2013 (14th).
• Switzerland failed to win a single set at the European Championships against their Pool D opponents. The country played two matches against both Soviet Union (1967, 1971) and West Germany (1967, 1971).
• Switzerland (W3-L15), Spain (W3-L18) and Slovakia (W2-L9) have won at most three matches at the European Championships.