2017 Men’s and Women’s São Paulo State Championships
The São Paulo State Championship, or simply “Paulista,” is under way for both men and women’s teams. Although only done in a regional format, both tournaments will feature Superliga teams that are overflowing with talent, Olympic gold medalists included. They use these games much like a Superliga preseason, a perfect time to twist the team’s nuts and bolts for Superliga against lower tier division teams composed mostly of college age athletes.
This week had two women contests, while the men played five games.
We start off with the women:
08/15 – Sesi/SP upset Concilig/Vôlei Bauru with a 3-1 (25-20, 18-25, 25-20 e 25-23) win. Bauru gifted its opponent with 30 points on errors. Worse than its loss, Bauru lost 2012 Olympic MVP and two time Olympic gold medalist Paula Pequeno to injury. The player felt a sharp pain on her left calf still on the first set and had to exit the game. Luckily, exams showed that it was nothing serious and she should miss only two weeks of action.
08/18 – Vôlei Nestle/Osasco has in its squad two Olympic gold Medalist setters: Carol Albuquerque and Dani Lins (who is away from their team due to her pregnancy). Who was their coach for their gold Olympic medals? You guessed it, Hinode/Barueri’s José Roberto Guimarães. No doubt, an interesting match up of old acquaintances.
Osasco didn’t have Tandara Caixeta, Ana Beatriz, and Lorenne Teixeira on uniform, away on national team duty. Their coach, Luizomar de Moura, wasn’t with the team either, away on his duties with the Peruvian national team. With its team devoid of most of its stars, they were an easy prey for José Roberto Guimarães team, who came away with an easy 3-0 (25/22, 25/19 and 25/21) victory.
Now on the men’s tourney:
08/16 – Volei Renata/Campinas had an unexpected visitor on team practice before their game with Vôlei São José. Bruno Rezende, national team starting setter, visited the team headquarters and actually practiced with them. He is friends with many of the players there, who in some point of their careers either played together in club play or in the national team. His visit might have rubbed some luck in Campinas, who easily beat São José in three easy sets (25/16; 25/14; 25/13). Olympic silver medalist Leandro Vissoto led the way for Campinas with 16 points.
08/16 – Even without William Arjona in the starting lineup, Sesi/SP beat Super Volei Santo André in a relatively easy 3-0 win (25/17, 25/18 e 25/20). Coach Rubinho wanted to give his younger players some court time, and they did not disappoint. When was the last time we ever saw William come in a game in a double sub? The Rio Olympic Games of course. It must be a weird experience for him, but we have no doubts he helps the team with his tremendous volleyball knowledge inside or outside of the court.
08/16 – EMS Funvic/Volei Taubaté was again without most of its starters due to national team commitments. Still, using mostly its third string team, they were able to beat Voleibol Um Itapetininga in a very tight 3-2 match (25/21, 24/26, 25/27, 25/22 e 21/19). Needless to say, any game that has a tiebreak that goes to 21 points is a true war. Let’s not forget though that Taubaté has in its squad national teamers Dante Amaral, Wallace de Souza, Ricardo Lucarelli, Thales Hoss, Otavio Pinto, Raphael Oliveira, and Marko Ivovic.
08/19 – Corinthians/Guarulhos debuted with a win against Climed/Atibaia on four sets (25/23, 31/33, 25/18 e 25/19). Last Olympic games MVP, Serginho, received a rest day after Gold Cup play. Lets not forget libero Serginho is already 41 years old and still gives his everything on court. However, the true (sad) highlight of the day was that Corinthians’ management, who had everything set up to gift its fans with a Facebook transmission of the game, was prevented from doing so by league “bureaucracy.” This is a prime example of inadequate rules getting on the way of the sport’s growth. Why ban online transmission of a game that was not going to be televised? For Brazilian volleyball to grow even more, adaptations on this format will have to surface. What a sad day for volleyball fans, in a country that has 3 men’s Olympic gold medals.
08/19 – Sesi/SP’s second game of the week was another easy victory, this time against Vôlei São José, with 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-20) win. Olympic gold medalist setter William Arjona helped his team a lot from the service line, allowing them to go on an unfathomable 13-1 run to start the first set. Being the perfectionist he is, in various moments throughout the game he called the attention of his team to play harder.