Just 10 days before the start of the Men's Club World Champs in Betim, two of the Brazilian participants, who will face each other on opening day, met in a Brazilian Superliga match in neighbouring Contagem on Sunday. Defending club world champions and tournament hosts Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei entertained and shut out Volei Renata, who will make their Club World Championship debut on December 7.
Sada Cruzeiro sweep Vôlei Renata in Club World Champs sneak peek
The two Brazilian teams will meet again on Club World Championship opening day
Pubblicato 01:56, 28 Nov 2022
The two teams had not crossed ways in the Superliga since January. They both made it to the final four of the South American Club Championship in March, but did not get to meet there either. While Sada Cruzeiro triumphed as continental champions, Renata finished with the bronze medals, the greatest success in the club’s history, which was enough for them to qualify for the upcoming Club World Championship.
A relatively new club, founded in 2010, Vôlei Renata have already picked up three national championship medals, a silver and two bronzes, in addition to six Brazil Cup medals, three silvers and three bronzes. They have also been Sao Paulo state champions for three years in a row now.
25-year-old opposite Felipe Roque and 20-year-old outside hitter Adriano Cavalcante are probably the hottest names on Argentinean head coach Horacio Dileo’s roster. Both contributed to the Brazilian national team’s bronze at this year’s FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship. Roque also helped earn gold at the FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2019 and Volleyball Nations League 2021.
Experienced setter and former Argentinean international Demian Gonzalez and outside Nicolas Lazo, who played for Argentina in the last three editions of the VNL, are the only foreigners on Renata’s squad. 2.07m-tall Lucas Barreto, a former junior international, and 2.04m-tall Lucas Fonseca are the team’s main middle blockers. Libero Alexandre Elias, also a former junior international, completes the starting line-up.
Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei, on the other hand, have been Club World Championship regulars since 2012 and are about to take part in the competition for the 10th consecutive time. They have already picked up four titles (2013, 2015, 2016, 2021), two silver medals (2012, 2019) and a bronze (2017), missing the podium only in 2014 and 2018.
Their star-studded squad is highlighted by one of the world’s most accomplished opposites, Wallace de Souza, the Most Valuable Player of VNL 2021, Cuban outside hitter Miguel Lopez, MVP of last year’s Club World Championship, and middle blocker Lucas Saatkamp, a 2016 Olympic champion and a 2010 world champion, who transferred from Volei Renata this season.
Otavio Pinto, who was on the 2021 Dream Team along with Wallace and Lopez, and Cledenilson Souza are the other two key middle blockers on coach Filipe Ferraz’s selection. The offence is conducted mainly by experienced Argentinean playmaker Nicolas Uriarte. Brazilian internationals Gabriel Vaccari and Rodrigo Leao complement Lopez in the outside hitter positions, while Lucas De Deus is the main libero.
On Sunday, Sada Cruzeiro hammered out a 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-22) home victory over Renata. It was their sixth win in eight matches played since the start of the Superliga season. The team from Belo Horizonte lead the current standings on 19 points, followed by another Club World Championship 2022 participant, Itambe Minas, on 18 points and a 6-1 win-loss record, and Volei Renata on 16 and 5-2. Minas and Renata each have a game in hand.
Felipe Roque was the best scorer of the match with 15 points for Renata, including four aces. Three players reached the double digits on the winners’ side. Lopez produced 14 points, including three aces and two blocks, to share Sada Cruzeiro’s leading scorer honours with Vaccari. Otavio piled up six stuffs and seven spiking points. Also with seven kills in offence, Cledenilson impressed with a 100% success rate in attack.
The two teams will meet in a Pool A match on December 7 at 21:00 local time (midnight UTC). They will be in the company of Italy’s Sir Safety Susa Perugia, who will play against Renata on December 8 and against Cruzeiro on December 9.