Lausanne, Switzerland, May 5, 2014 - Molico Osasco could make history as the first team ever to win the prestigious FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship title twice when the tournament is held for the eighth time from May 7 to 11 in Zurich, Switzerland.
from the South American Championship has a wildcard to thank for the
opportunity to compete in the Championship, which features six of the top teams
from around the world.
“Being crowned Club World Champions was definitely one of the greatest successes in my career,” said libero Camila Brait who travels to this year’s event full of optimism. “We know it will be tough, but we also believe in the potential of our team.” Brait and Adenizia Silva are the only players in the squad to have been involved on all three occasions the club has competed in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship. With silver in 2010, bronze in 2011 and gold in 2012, the ladies have their sights set on adding a second gold to that collection.
Coach Luizomar de Moura was delighted to be invited to this “wonderful competition”, but was keen to emphasise the strength of the opposition. “It will be very difficult, as there are five teams who could win the title this time,” he said. Only African champions G.S.Petroliers (GSP) of Algeria, who were awarded the tournament’s second wildcard, are seen as outsiders. They are joined at the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship by hosts Volero Zurich, 2014 South America Women’s Club Championship winners SESI-SP, European Club Champions Dinamo Kazan and the winners of the Asia Club Championship, Japan’s Hisamitsu Springs.
Molico Osasco will face two of these title-contenders in the preliminary pool. After the opening match against Hisamitsu Springs at 17:30 local time (15:30 GMT) on Wednesday (Volero Zurich will take on SESI-SP at 20:00 (18:00 GMT)) one of the hot favourites to win the tournament awaits in the preliminary round, in the form of Dinamo Kazan. Spearheaded by the outstanding attacker Ekaterina Gamova, the Russian’s are also aiming to make history for never before has a team from the reigning World Champion nation won the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.
The final of the European Champions League saw Kazan complete a commanding 3-0 victory over defending champions VakifBank Istanbul – the very team that had won the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship in Zurich the previous year. MVP Gamova said at the time, “We are the champions of Europe and we want to try to become the champions of the world.” However, Dinamo Kazan have had a busy build-up to the big championship. Coach Rishat Gilyazutdinov’s players qualified for the final of the Russian championship with three victories against semi-final opponents Dynamo Krasnodar on May 1.
The team, which is led by Gamova and USA’s Jordan Quinn Larson-Burbach, arrives at the championship in top form and is looking to become the eighth club to go down in the role of honour.
The FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship has had seven different winners from four different countries. Brazil has been represented on the winner’s podium three times, Turkey twice, while Azerbaijan and Italy have had clubs climb onto the top step of the podium once. Brazil – the Olympic champions – have two irons in the fire in Zurich with SESI-SP having just as good a chance of winning as Molico Osasco.
SESI-SP won 3-0 against Molico Osasco in the final of the South American championship in February. SESI-SP also triumphed en route to the final of the Brazilian championship, where they lost 3-1 to Unilever Volei. SESI-SP captain Fabiana Claudino still feels they have a good chance. “We have all worked very hard in recent months and are optimistic,” she said.
The same obviously goes for the hosts, who recently confirmed their status as the best Swiss women’s volleyball team, winning its ninth national title in 10 years. Volero Zurich is undefeated in 78 matches in Switzerland, with their last loss more than two years ago in January 2012 in Neuchâtel. The team came fourth at the 2013 FIVB Women’s Club World Championships. And with Mira Golubovic captaining a host of international stars it has its sights set on a podium win this time round.
FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° emphasised the importance of the FIVB Club World Championships, which is set to begin on Tuesday with the best men’s club teams in the world meeting in Belo Horizonte to play for the title. “There is a different dynamic to club volleyball, which is not a surprise given that each team brings together players from various cultures and backgrounds. Each player knows that they have to work with their team-mates, regardless of their individual style and technique, to attain the best possible result for the team as a whole,” said Graça.
"With that work ethic, it is not surprising that the Club World Championships have launched the careers of many athletes who have used this level of competition to hone their skills and techniques, which also translate well to their national team endeavours. The FIVB has the perfect recipe to encourage the development and growth of clubs right around the world."
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