Brazil dominate pools in South American club championship
Defending champions and current leaders of their domestic league Rexona-Sesc Rio de Janeiro shut out University of San Martin de Porres of Lima 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-16), while Dentil Praia Clube of Uberlandia destroyed the reigning Argentina champions Villa Dora of Santa Fe 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-13).
Regardless of the results, all four teams had already qualified to the semifinals, which are now set up to produce an all-Brazil showdown for the final.
Semifinals in Uberlandia:
- Rexona-Sesc Rio de Janeiro (BRA) v. Villa Dora Santa Fe (ARG)
- Dentil Praia Clube (BRA) v. USMP Lima (PER)
Olympic Club Cochabamba of Bolivia will face Boca Juniors Buenos Aires of Argentina for fifth place.
Rexona were led by the game's top scorer on 13 points, Juciely, and had an easy afernoon despite the best efforts of the Peruvian side's Angela Leyva who scored 9.
For Dentil Praia Clube outside hitter Claudinha their game was all about staying focused: "I think the main thing about these games is to keep the concentration," she said after the match. "Trying to stick to our game plan regardless of the rival. We are thinking step by step and tomorrow we have a semifinal, a game with more strength, but we are going to stay concentrated and think as a team, to impose our pace, and most importantly, never give up."
Villa Dora took a different approach to that game. "It was a unique experience to play in the Uberlandia Coliseum against Dentil Praia in their own home," said captain Maira Westergaarp after the match. "We know it is very difficult to play against high level teams. We are a group of very young players and we see this as a process of improvement in the long term. Still, we have the feeling that today we played our very best. We have to take these encounters against Brazilian teams as an experience for the future. We had some frustrations in the game but we knew that we were going to face a tough team."
The winners of the South American Club Championship will join hosts Hisamitsu Springs of Kobe and reigning Asian Champions NEC Red Rockets of Kawasaki in the Club Worlds in May. The 2017 European Champions League winners will also receive a direct ticket before the full roster is completed with the addition of four wild cards.
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