FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Host team Vivo/Minas looking for their fourth title at the South American Club Championship

Lucas Lóh is one of the star players of the Vivo/Minas team

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 8, 2013 – The Arena Vivo in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte is gearing up for the opening of the men's South American Club Championship which starts today and runs until May 12.

In addition to the Vivo/Minas team, who qualify as hosts, six other South American clubs will feature in the competition: 2012-13 Brazilian Superliga champions RJX, UPCN and Club Buenos Aires Unidos (champions and runners-up in the Argentina League), Vikings Miranda from Venezuela, Club Peerless from Peru and Carmelo Rowing Club from Uruguay.

The winners of the South American Club Championship will qualify for the men’s FIVB Club World Club Championship, which will be held in Brazil for the next three years.

Brazilian teams have won the South American title 27 times, while Argentina have taken the remaining five.

In this year’s competition, Group A will consist of Vivo/Minas, UPCN and Club Peerless, while Group B will have RJX, Club Buenos Aires Unidos, Vikings Miranda and Carmelo Rowing Club.

As one of the oldest volleyball clubs in Brazil the Vivo/Minas has a reputation for churning out the champions who have moved through the ranks to eventually play for the senior national team of Brazil. The club will be fighting hard to win a fourth title in the continental club competition.

Led by Lucasrelli, Lucas Lóh and Octavius, the host team is being coached by Argentine Horacio Dileo. Their strong work ethic and their fanatical home crowd will no doubt help to push the team far in this important continental tournament.

Lucas Loh the 22 year old player from Vivo/Minas has played in international matches from an early age and has shown a great deal of promise, commitment and stamina to fight for the title. "Playing in this competition will be very good for my development and professional growth," he said. “The playing level is high and different to Brazilian competitions. Our goal as a team is to help Vivo/Minas win this tournament," said the young Lucas.

Loh’s team-mate Lucarelli is 21 years old and has also shown great aptitude when playing with more experienced athletes. "I'm used to this situation as I have trained with more experienced players from a very young age. It is always good to exchange some ideas with our older players and I think that this has helped me a lot. We are well prepared and our expectations for this competition are high,” said Lucarelli.

Coach Bernardinho has called Lucarelli, Lucas Loh, Octavius and Mauritius for the Brazilian National Team that will compete in the Pan American Cup from 19 to 27 May in Mexico. The players were released by the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation and are now training with Vivo/Minas to compete in the South American Clubs Championship. Lucarelli and Mauritius will also represent Brazil in the World League, which begins in June in Poland, where the Brazilian national team play the opening match against the hosts.

The first match of the South American Club Championship will see the Vivo/Minas team play against Peru’s Peerless Club. The Buenos Aires Argentine club will then play against the Vikings from Venezuela, followed by Rio RJX who will face Carmelo Rowing from Uruguay.

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