Italian Cucine Lube Civitanova confirmed their great moment (10-0 score in SuperLega) and defeated also Brazilian giants of Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei on their ground in Round 2 of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship in Betim.
After an easy match on Day 1 against the Qatari side Al-Rayyan Sports Club, they repeated the same furious performance against much stronger rivals, South American champions Cruzeiro in straight sets (25:23, 30:28, 25:15). The match was pretty much marked with the way two Cruzeiro’s former players Robertlandy Simón and Yoandy Leal were welcomed by more than 4,000 home fans. In the case of Leal, who wore the jersey of Cruzeiro for six years, only applauses upon entering the court were heard. As for Simón, his appearance was mostly followed by boos. The Pole Mateusz Bieniek was the top scorer for Lube, who secured the first place prior to the semifinals (2-0 score, 6 points, no sets lost), with 16 points, including 4 winning blocks and the same number of aces. Evandro Guerra scored 15 points for the losing side, who came in second with 1-1 and 3 points.
Cucine Lube Civitanova’s setter Bruno Rezende: “We were trailing for the most part of the first two sets, but we had the patience to turn things around. Sada Cruzeiro are a great team and their serving game is very strong. We controlled it well and didn’t let them score a lot of points from the service line, which was great. We made some mistakes and I made some bad decisions, but we managed to overcome these moments and that’s the most important thing. Our third set was a lot better.”
Cucine Lube Civitanova’s middle blocker Mateusz Bieniek: “It’s the perfect start for us. To win our first two matches 3-0 is great. Sada Cruzeiro is a great team but I think we played a better overall match. We had some problems in the first two sets, but we found our game in the end.”
Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei’s outside hitter Facundo Conte: “I think the main difference was their serving. We were playing better than them in some moments in the first two sets, but they got some aces that changed the match. We lost our focus in the third set, but the first two were very good and I think we can play even better. We can really build on what we did in the first two sets against a team that, in my opinion, is the best in the world.”
Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei’s opposite Evandro Guerra: “I think we did a good job, especially in the first two sets. The third set wasn’t as good, but we can’t let it let us down because it’s been a good tournament so far for us. We know our paths can cross again and I’m confident the result can be different.”
As for the other match of the second round, Russian Zenit Kazan had a surprisingly difficult job to outplay Al-Rayyan, who managed to take the opening set. An unusual situation occurred at 4-0 for the Qatari side in the first set: the lights went off at the Ginásio Poliesportivo Divino Ferreira Braga hall. The interruption of a game lasted for about half an hour. Zenit head coach Aleksey Verbov tried to rotate as many players as possible, so for instance, he pulled Ngapeth and Mikhaylov on the bench after the first two sets. Fedor Voronkov and Andrey Surmachevskiy scored 11 points each for the Russian runners-up who are at third-placed with an 1-1 score and 3 points. Portuguese Marco Ferreira and Brazilian Marcus Vinícius Costa both scored 15 points for Asian Championship winners Al-Rayyan. Montenegrin Marko Vukašinović served 5 aces.
Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei’s setter Fernando ‘Cachopa’ Kreling: “We always leave everything we have on the court and today we were fantastic. We played really well and we neutralized their best skills. But it’s a long and tough week and more difficult games will be coming our way starting tomorrow, so we need to keep our focus.”
Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei’s head coach Marcelo Mendez: “We played a good game. We did well in pretty much every skill – we served well, our blocking touched in a lot of balls and our offense was in good rhythm. I’m really proud of the team, but now we have to turn our focus to Lube as the match against them won’t be any easier.”
Zenit Kazan’s head coach Alexey Verbov: “It’s obviously not a good start for us, but a new tournament will start in the semifinals, so it’s not so bad for us. It’s a big time-difference and a very distinct weather here and we’re still adjusting to it. We also need to feel the new ball better. Sada Cruzeiro played really well today, but we need to find our game because it was a poor performance for us. We’ll be ready for next match and hopefully we can improve step-by-step.”
2019 FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship – Round 2
Zenit Kazan (RUS) – Al-Rayyan Sports Club (QAT) 3-1 (21:25, 25:20, 25:23, 25:21)
Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei (BRA) – Cucine Lube Civitanova (ITA) 0-3 (23:25, 28:30, 15:25)
Source and photos: clubworldchampionships.2019.men.fivb.com