Following into her husband’s footsteps, the once dominating outside hitter Jaqueline Endres has accepted an invitation by Brazilian NT’s head coach José Roberto Guimarães‘ to become a libero for the team, after Brazil’s number one option at the spot, Leia Silva, retired unexpectedly. At 34 years old, Jaqueline has 17 year old history with Brazil’s national team that includes 2 Olympic gold medals.
Jaqueline knows that the move, if successful, will prolong her career (Globo.com):
“Surely, this step is a fresh start for me. I’ve never played in any position other than as an outside hitter, but I believe I can excel as a libero since I like playing at the back row. I will work hard to improve at it, as I’ve always done to perform well, I’ve always enjoyed training. I know that if I want to prolong my national team career, this move is my best chance. I will try to adapt quickly to contribute to the team, as I have always done.
I cried a lot when confronted with the option, as I always have loved attacking. At the same time, I was happy to know Zé trusted me with it. I have a little bit of butterflies in my stomach as of right now, but I am willing to face new challenges. At first I found it strange because it is not easy to change position so fast, even so because I just finished playing this season’s Superliga scoring a lot for the team. I even forgot about the possibility of being a libero, but after our conversation, Zé gave me a lot of confidence, as it is not easy to go to the national team in such an important position without having played at least one Superliga as a libero. But I’m happy, I’ll be able to get the best out of other great liberos by training with the national team.
Murilo tells me that he had no choice but to become a Libero. The advice he gave me was the same as always: take risks, try new experiences and represent Brazil well because one day all of this will end. I’m going to do what’s possible and impossible to improve. I’m thinking big now, I want to be in the 2020 games.”
Coach Zé Roberto also commented the move:
“Jaque has always been an excellent back-court player. I’ve always watched her in all teams she played in. She has all the features to make it work. I had to look her in the eye, to see if she really wanted this, the new challenge and the travel routine. She told me she wanted to. She’ll have a chance to play. It all depends on the feedback she’s going to give me. We’ll talk a lot to see if she really can adapt to the position. Being libero is not easy it demands a lot from the athlete.”
The moves make sense from a logical standpoint. Jaqueline isn’t, of course, Brazil’s best back-row player, as the best liberos in the country are retired from the national team: Fabiana Alvim, Caroline Brait, and Leia Silva. With that kind of luck, Zé Roberto did not have a choice but to innovate.
To read an exclusive VolleyMob interview with one of Brazil’s first liberos, Arlene Xavier, check out the link below:
Arlene Xavier Interview: 48 Years Old, Still Going Strong In Superliga