- Jan. 15 – 27
- Round of 8
The Brazilian Cup semifinals gifted volleyball fans two very exciting match-ups pinning against each other 4 elite teams full of World and Olympic champions. At the end, it determined that Sada/Cruzeiro and Sesi/SP will be the ones fighting for the title this Saturday.
Hosts Sesi booked its ticket to the finals by beating current champions EMS Funvic/Taubaté 3-0 (25/22, 25/17, 27/25) in a rematch of last year’s finals. Taubate´s star setter Raphael Oliveira suffered a back injury still on the game’s first set, which greatly disrupted any plans Taubaté had to advance to the finals. The team looked lost and disorganized without him on the court, and Sesi took full advantage of his absence:
“Raphael’s injury made a huge difference in the game because, normally, the second stringer setter is not accustomed to training with the first team. There was a lot of mismatches and erros, and that’s where our team managed to win.” – Sesi‘s middle-blocker Lucas Saatkamp
Meanwhile, Cruzeiro‘s recent rivalry with Sesc/RJ just got another chapter added to its history book, as the teams went head to head for the second time in 12 days, when Sesc handed the Superliga leaders a rare defeat. This time, though, Cruzeiro got its revenge, beating Sesc 3-1 (25/17, 20/25, 25/21, 25/23). Here are the post match reactions:
“Our service game worked very well, as it has been our biggest difference maker in our recent matches. This game might have been a preview of Superliga’s finals.” – Evandro Guerra, Cruzeiro‘s opposite hitter
“The four best teams in the country competed in these semifinals. We have a a good team, we could have won, booked our tickets to the finals, but the match was decided in the littlest of the details, as will be Superliga finals. I wish everyone who is participating at the finals Saturday good luck.” – Tiago Veloso, Sesc‘s setter.
It’s hard to pick against two-times Cup Champions Cruzeiro, even so after it under-performed at the 2017 FIVB Club WCH, as the team will be hungry to prove it is still one of the best squads in the world. What better way to do this then beating Sesi, a team that has in it 5 Olympic medalists? In their only encounter of the year, Cruzeiro handed Sesi a 3-1 (26/24 25/23 21/25 25/21) win in a very tight game. We expect the same this time around.