At the 2017 Men’s South American Championships, Brazil walks away with the top prize not dropping a single set on their way to the gold medal prize. This is the 32nd edition of the South American Championships that saw five days of competition in Santiago and Temuco. The win for Brazil punched their ticket to the World Championships next year, but Venezuela, the runner-up, will have to try their hand at a qualifying spot at the continental qualifiers from August 31 to September 4 in Argentina, the last chance for a South American bid.
Brazil has now won their 31st title in the history of the event and will compete at the 2018 FIVB World Championships next year in Italy and Bulgaria. Since the induction of the event in 1951, they have only lost the title one time and that came when they were absent in 1964. For Venezuela, this is their ninth overall silver medal and first since 2003. At the World Championships, Brazil has entered every edition, winning three gold and two silver medals along the way. They were the runner-up in the last edition to Poland in 2014.
During pool play, the Brazilians swept straight through their competition – Paraguay, Venezuela and Colombia. During the semifinals, Brazil kept their streak going with a win over Chile before facing Venezuela again in the finals, once again rolling straight through them for the sweep.
Brazil def. Chile 3-0, (25-20, 25-12, 25-14)
Mauricio Silva was the top scorer of the match with 18 points while Wallace de Souza and Ricardo Lucarelli Souza each added 15 and 10 points, respectively, to the win.
“We played a very good match. They played well in the first set but then we were able to find a strong serve that worked,” said Bruno Rezende, the Brazilian captain.
For Chile, Vincente Parraguirre led the scoring with 12 points in the loss.
Venezuela def. Argentina 3-2, (26-24, 15-25, 24-26, 26-24, 15-13)
Venezuela had to fight to enter the championship match with Argentina, as they won in five sets. Emerson Rodriguez was the top scorer of the match with 16 points.
Brazil def. Venezuela 3-0, (25-21, 25-6, 25-18)
This was the first time that Brazil and Venezuela met in the finals since 2003.
The first set was a close battle with the Brazilians prevailing 25-21, but the second set was another story. Venezuela couldn’t find their groove in the second set, while the Brazilians were on fire, winning the second 25-6 and going up 2-0 in the title match. The final set was much closer than the second but was not enough for the Venezuelans as they dropped the match 25-18 in straight sets.
Brazil’s top scorer was Cristian Poglajen with 13 points while Sebastian Sole and Santiago Darraidou each scored 10 and nine points, respectively.