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The Club: Praia Clube

Carol high-fives Praia Clube teammates at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship.
Lausanne, Switzerland, October 23, 2020 - In Brazil's long and illustrious volleyball history, Praia Clube of Uberlandia may well be considered the 'new kid on the block', but they've already made their mark both at home and internationally and are well on their way for more grand things.

The club, founded in 1935 on the banks of the Uberabinha River (hence the name of Praia Clube, which translates to 'Beach Club'), is based in the city of Uberlandia in the state of Minas Gerais. Volleyball was introduced to the multi-sport club in the 1980s.

They won their first national title in 2018, but finished runners-up to cross-state rivals Minas Tenis Clube of Belo Horizonte in 2019 - the last Superleague competition to be completed before the 2020 edition was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year they're back with huge aspirations, ahead of the 2020-21 Superleague which begins next month.

Internationally too, Praia Clube have begun to make their mark. Though a title is yet to come, they've challenged the more established clubs in South America three times, finishing runners-up to Rexona-Sesc Rio de Janeiro in 2017 and to Minas in 2019 and 2020 at the continental club championship.

Further afield, Praia Clube have twice competed in the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship, finishing fourth in 2018 after losing to Turkey's Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul in the bronze medal match, but failing to make it out of pool play in 2019.

Under the command of head coach Paulo Coco is a wealth of Brazilian and foreign superstars.

This includes forty-one-year-old, three-time Olympian (with bronze at Sydney 2000 and gold at Beijing 2008) Oliveira Walewska, plus London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Fe Garay, Ana Carolina 'Carol' da Silva and the Pavao twins Michelle and Monique.

From abroad, Dominican sisters Brayelin and Jineiry Martinez and the Netherlands' Anne Buijs are also on hand to inspire the fans of Uberlandia.

Follow Praia Clube on Facebook.

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