Itambe Minas remain in control. The leaders of the 2020-2021 Brazilian Women’s Superliga now have a five-point advantage at the top of the standings with six matches still to be played until the end of the regular season.
The Belo Horizonte side, which won the Brazilian Cup for the second time last weekend, secured an important road victory on Tuesday as they downed third-placed Osasco Sao Cristovao Saude 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-22) at the Jose Liberatti Arena.
The victory, the 15th in 16 matches for Minas in the Brazilian championship, was also their 13th consecutively across all competitions. Their opponents, Osasco, are the only team who have defeated Minas in the season so far.
Opposite Danielle Cuttino, who starred in the Brazilian Cup final triumph for Minas on Saturday, put out another solid performance as the 24-year-old American led all scorers in the match with 18 points.
“Having played five sets in the Brazilian Cup final on Saturday, we were obviously tired. So remaining focused was a key element tonight as we had to avoid mistakes,” Cuttino commented. “We’re on a good run of form and that was an important victory for us.”
Italian head coach Nicola del Negro also got good production from American outside hitter Megan Easy, who scored 14 points, and veteran middle blocker and captain Carol Gattaz, who registered nine points.
For Minas, however, the most noticeable feat in the match may have been limiting Osasco’s star opposite Tandara Caixeta, the fourth-best scorer in the Superliga, to just 13 points and a 29% hitting efficiency. Outside hitters Tainara Santos and Jaqueline Carvalho scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
“We fought until the end, but had some issues at the end of each set,” Osasco’s libero Camila Brait analysed. “Minas are a great team, they’re at the top of the league for a good reason, and we need to learn our lessons from this match and move on.”
Both teams take on difficult opponents next as Osasco go on the road against 12-time Superliga winners SESC Flamengo on Friday while Minas host SESI Volei Bauru on Saturday.
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