Every team competing at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League relies on a strong group of hitters to score points and win matches. For Brazil, it’s clear that this task is assigned to opposite Wallace de Souza and outside hitters Ricardo Lucarelli and Yoandy Leal.

The three are international stars of the sport and typically carry the team’s offensive load, as they did in Brazil’s VNL debut, a 3-0 win against Argentina in which Lucarelli scored 14, Leal added ten and Wallace tallied eight points for the winners on Friday.

“They are our three most important offensive players,” team captain and setter Bruno Rezende said after the match. “They’re all great hitters and servers, are experienced players and are used to the big moments, so we need them to win matches and accomplish our goals. They’re pillars for our team and I’m sure we’ll see a lot of improvement from them, both physically and technically, during the VNL.”

Part of the room for improvement Bruno sees for the trio is directly related to his chemistry with each of them. He has been playing with Wallace and Lucarelli, who are both Rio 2016 Olympic champions like him, for nearly a decade on the Brazilian national team, even if Leal didn’t join the roster until 2019.

Since his arrival, Brazil have only had all three together on one occasion, at the Tokyo Volleyball Qualification tournament in Sofia, in 2019. With all three plus Bruno together in Rimini for at least a month, that will provide the perfect opportunity for them to work on what they need to do to be even stronger.

“Our chemistry will get better,” Bruno added. “In this first match, I was more concerned with my accuracy, with placing the ball where each hitter wanted, and maybe that made Argentina’s blockers’ lives easier. Wallace, in particular, likes to hit a very specific type of set and that will take a little more time to adjust, but we’ll get there. The more we play the fewer mistakes we’ll make.”

Adjusting Wallace's set is one of Bruno's priorities

Adjusting Wallace's set is one of Bruno's priorities