The break for the holidays didn’t slow Sada Cruzeiro Volei down as the 2020-2021 Brazilian Men’s Superliga leaders secured their tenth-straight victory in the tournament on Saturday, when they played their first match in 2021.
The silver medallists of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championships were on the road against Caramuru Volei and, despite not having played since December 22, showed good form to post a 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-21) win that kept them at the top of the standings with 37 points (12 wins and one loss).
Argentinean national team star Facundo Conte stood out in Sada Cruzeiro’s victory as the 31-year-old outside hitter led all scorers with 16 points and was voted the Player of the Match. Conte tallied six aces and ten spikes in the match and also had a solid receiving performance with 73 per cent of efficiency in the skill.
“I’m very happy about the way we played,” the Argentinean said. “We returned from the break a week ago, trained hard and managed to play really well. We wanted to keep the high level we showed at the end of last year and we accomplished that. It was a good break and our minds and bodies are ready for the second half of the season.”
Cuban national team outside hitter Miguel Angel Lopez added 11 points for Sada Cruzeiro while 2019 FIVB Volleyball World Cup Most Valuable Player and Brazil national team opposite Alan Souza scored nine for the winners. Outside hitters Leonardo Silva and Jailton Peron scored seven points each for Caramuru.
Sada Cruzeiro, who are led by Argentinean national team head coach Marcelo Mendez, will now turn their attention to the Brazilian Cup, which starts on January 14, when the Contagem-based side face Vedacit Volei Guarulhos.
“The second half of the season is very important for us,” Conte added. “We have the Brazilian Cup coming up next week and that’s one of our goals too. Sada Cruzeiro have a strong winning tradition and expectations are always high here, so we’re preparing to be at our best at the deciding moment of the season.”
Caramuru didn’t qualify for the Brazilian Cup and rank 11th in the Superliga with three wins and nine losses. They return to the court on January 16, at home, against Pacaembu Ribeirao.
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