Brazilian side Volei Bauru, based out of Bauru in Sao Paulo, has added two international-caliber players to their roster for the 2017-2018 season. Outside hitter Paula Pequeno and libero Shara Venegas are the team’s two newest editions, and will debut with the team for their friendlies on August 15th and 16th. There, the team will play against the Brazilian Universiade team as it makes final preparations for the upcoming World University Games team in Taipei later this month.
The 35-year old Pequeno, while on the tail end of her career, brings a jolt of excitement to the side. She was on the Brazilian National Team from 2002-2012 which included amassing a pile of international medals – including gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, she was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
She joins Bauru from Brasilia Volei, where she’s played since 2013. She has played the majority of her 24-year career in Brazil, with the exceptions being a season in Russia and a season with Fenerbahce Istanbul in Turkey, where she won a bronze medal at the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.
Venegas, meanwhile, joins the team from Puerto Rico, where she is the starting libero on their National Team. The 22-year old was on Puerto Rico’s Pan American Cup team that took bronze earlier this summer. She made her National Team debut in 2009, just days after her 17th birthday.
Bauru placed 5th in last year’s Brazilian Superliga with a 13-9 record. They led the league in total digs and positive receptions last season, but were only middle-of-the-pack in efficiency in both categories. They also ranked just 7th out of 12 teams in kills.