The 2021-2022 club season arrived as a potentially challenging one for Sada Cruzeiro Volei as the Brazilian giants went through some notable changes in the off-season. But their appetite for titles remains unchanged and they lifted their second trophy of the season on Tuesday after winning the 2021 Brazilian Supercup in Varzea Grande.
New-look Sada Cruzeiro lift fourth Supercup trophy
New coach and players help Brazilian club to victory
Published 09:16, 27 Oct 2021
Playing at the Fiotao Stadium, the three-time FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship winners dominated Funvic Educacoin Natal to secure a straight-set (25-22, 25-15, 25-22) victory and their fourth title in the tournament, following victories in 2015, 2016 and 2017. It was the 41st trophy lifted by the club since 2010, in 57 tournaments.
With Tokyo Olympians Alan de Souza and Facundo Conte heading overseas, Cuban outside hitter Miguel Angel Lopez, a Rio 2016 Olympian, has become more of a centrepiece in the team’s offence, sharing scoring duties with Rio 2016 Olympic champion Wallace de Souza, who returned to the club after five years.
In the Supercup, Lopez led all scorers with 13 points, one more than 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Most Valuable Player Wallace.
“We played a great match,” Lopez said. “We remained focused the entire time and quickly found our rhythm. We served and blocked really well and our offence, which is probably our strongest weapon, was also very good. We’re happy to win our second trophy of the season and we’re looking forward to the next one.”
The most noticeable change in the team, which won the Mineiro Championship earlier this month, probably comes in the departure of head coach Marcelo Mendez, who led Argentina to win bronze in Tokyo and left the club after 12 years at the helm.
Outside hitter Filipe Ferraz, who served as Mendez’s captain in 11 of those seasons, ended his playing career and took over as the new head coach. And first impressions have been very positive.
“This title is an important step for us as we start a new era at the club,” said middle blocker Isac Santos, a Tokyo Olympian. “Filipe has been able to keep the same winning mentality we had before. We’ve been working hard and I see a group of players that is very united and determined. We played really well tonight and it’s great that we start this new chapter this way.”
Sada Cruzeiro and Funvic return to the courts this weekend when they face Volei Renata and Brasilia Volei respectively in the Brazilian Superliga.