Unilever win South American title to seal Women's Club World Championship place
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 6, 2013 - Brazilian side Unilever Volei won the South American Women's Club Championship in Lima, securing a place at the FIVB Club World Championships later in the year.
They defeated Peruvian side Universidad Cesar Vallejo 3-0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-16) to lift the title, and book their ticket to Zurich, Switzerland next October, where they will compete against the best teams from around the globe.
The South American Club Championship was held over four days in Lima, Peru.
In front of an enthusiastic Peruvian crowd, both sides were determined to win and reach the Club World Championship – the most important competition on the volleyball calendar for club sides.
But the Brazilian team were dominant from the start, and Unilever's efficient spiking was too much for Universidad Cesar Vallejo's blockers. They took the first set easily, 25-12.
Successfully motivated by their coach Natalia Malaga to sharpen up in the second set, the Peruvian side came back hard, pushing Unilever all the way.
But coach Bernardinho's Unilever girls proved as effective in defence as in attack, and their blockers were crucial as they edged the second set 25-23.
They then sealed the win with a relatively comfortable final set win, 25-16.
Unilever youngster Gabriella Guimaraes was top scorer in the final, with 16 points, while for Universidad, Cesar Vallejo, Milagros Moy and Wendy Torres all got an impressive nine points each.
“We fulfilled our goal," said Unilever coach Bernardinho after the match. "We showed a great level of skill, and we worked very hard. This has been a season of hard work and friendship, winning these titles and our national league. Now we face new challenges at the Club World Championship."
3rd-4th place playoff
Boston College, from Chile, won third place, defeating Velez Sarsfield of Argentina 3-2 (25-23, 25-23, 25-27, 23-25, 13-15).
It was a long but very exciting fixture, and after nearly two and a half hours of intensive play, the Chilean girls obtained an historical victory: this was the first time a team from their country have recorded a podium finish in the South American Club Championship.
It wasn't easy for the Chileans, who lost the first two sets, despite them being extremely tight, and they had to work extremely hard to win the third and fourth sets and level the match.
The tie-break was also very tight, with neither team ever gaining a clear lead – but it was the “Aguilas” who managed to edge ahead and snatch the victory.
The match's top scorer was Jimena Perez, the Argentine captain of Velez Sarsfield, who got 26 points.
Keith Meneses and Karla Ortiz scored 25 points each for Boston College. The victory meant Boston had won two and lost two games over the four days.
MVP: Natalia Pereira (Unilever)
Best Digging: Fabiana Oliveira (Unilever)
Best Reception: Miriam Patiño (Universidad Cesar Vallejo)
Best Libero: Fabiana Oliveira (Unilever)
Best Setter: Helia Souza ‘Fofao’ (Unilever)
Best Server: Milagros Moy (Universidad César Vallejo)
Best Blocker: Bruna Silva (Unilever)
Best Spiker: Gabriela Guimaraes (Unilever)
1. Unilever Volei (Brazil)
2. Universidad César Vallejo (Peru)
3. Club Boston College (Chile)
4. Club Velez Sarsfield (Argentina)
5. Universidad Metropolitana de Asuncion (Paraguay)