Betim, Brazil, November 30, 2019 – Sada Cruzeiro Volei’s preparation for the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship in Betim didn’t end as the Brazilian team expected as the hosts lost their last match before their debut at next week’s tournament.
Playing at the Ginasio Poliesportivo Divino Ferreira Braga, where the team will compete for its fourth world title between December 3-8, Sada Cruzeiro saw its five-match winning streak in the Brazilian Superliga come to an end at the hands of Volei Renata as the visitors posted a 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 25-19, 15-25, 18-16) win on Saturday.
Sada Cruzeiro’s opposite and Rio 2016 Olympic champion Evandro Guerra topped the scorers in the match with 23 points, but his performance alone wasn’t enough to match Volei Renata’s outside hitter Gabriel Vaccari and Renan Buiatti, who added 22 points apiece.
Sada Cruzeiro's opposite Evandro Guerra scored 23 points
“We had the lead in the end, we were two or three points ahead but they managed to come back,” Sada Cruzeiro’s setter Fernando ‘Cachopa’ Kreling said. “Despite the loss, we had two very good tests this week, against Sesc and Volei Renata, and both matches forced us to be better. Hopefully we can improve from these matches and get at full power for the Club World Championship next week.”
For outside hitter Facundo Conte, who scored 13 points in the match, the anticipation for the Men’s Club World Championship had an impact on the team’s performance just three days before their debut in the international tournament.
“The ideal would be that we could think about one match at a time, but it’s tough to ignore the excitement for the Club World Championship,” the Argentinean international added. “It’s all our fans talk about and it’s all over social media. I felt that we really wanted to play well and win this match so we’d end our preparation on a high note, but maybe that wasn’t the best approach and just put some extra pressure on us. The best we can do now is learning our lessons from this match and fixing our mistakes soon.”
Sada Cruzeiro begins at the Men’s Club World Championship on Tuesday, December 3, against Russian giants Zenit Kazan. On Wednesday, the Brazilians will face Italian and European champions Cucine Lube Civitanova. Their last match in the first round will be against Qatar’s Al-Rayyan Sports Club on Thursday.