Sada Cruzeiro head into continentals with new Superleague win


Yoandy Leal of attacks against Bento Volei Isabela as he leads Sada Cruzeiro of Contagem to yet another victory in the Brazilian Superleague.

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 19, 2017 - Just a few days before starting their defence of the South American Men's Club Championship, reigning world and Brazil champions Sada Cruzeiro of Contagem confirmed their dominating position in the domestic Superleague with a solid 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-17) home win at the Riachao over Bento Volei Isabela.

Led by MVP and top scorer (14 points) of the game Yoandy Leal, Sada Cruzeiro dominated the opposition with as many as 10 aces to 2 and continue to lead the standings with five rounds to go until the end of the regular season.

Sada Cruzeiro are competing in the continental club championship which begins Tuesday in Montes Claros (though the team doesn't see action until Wednesday). The winner of the South American Club Championship earns a direct ticket to the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship next December in Poland.

However, the second Brazilian side in the continental championship, hosts Montes Claros Volei, stumbled this weekend away in Campinas, falling to Brasil Kirin 3-2 (18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 21-25, 15-9). Luan Weber was top scorer of the game with 23 points for Montes Claros, but Brasil Kirin had far more solutions with captain Rodrigo Pinto scoring 14 and Diogo Silva, Bruno Araujo and Mauricio Souza adding another 13 each. Brasil Kirin libero Tiago Brendle was voted MVP of the game.

Sada Cruzeiro are now 10 points clear of Sesi Sao Paulo in the standings, after the latter fell in straight sets at Taubate to Funvic 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-22). Wallace Souza led Taubate with 17 points, as the home side dominated all skills.

Zenit Kazan indestructible in Russia
In Russia, meanwhile, defending champions and reigning European champions Zenit Kazan also extended their lead in the standings of the Superleague, after an impressive win in Moscow over second-placed Dinamo 3-1 (22-25, 25-16, 25-23, 26-24).

Maxim Mikhailov was top scorer of the game with 21 points for Zenit while Wilfredo Leon added another 18, to counter the 20 points of Konstantin Bakun for Dinamo. The home side had problems at the net, outblocked 12 to 5 and lacking in attacking efficiency 55 per cent to 48 per cent.

The result allowed Lokomotiv Novosibirsk to catch up with Dinamo Moscow in second place, after an easy 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-16) win at home over bottom of the table Neftyanik Orenburg. Lukash Divish scored 12 points for Lokomotiv, with Nikolai Pavlov and Ilyas Kurkaev adding another 11 each.

Lube survive five sets in Verona
Over in Italy, table leaders Cucine Lube Civitanova escaped from Verona with a 3-2 (25-21, 25-17, 16-25, 23-25, 15-6) win over Calzedonia after Bulgaria's Tsvetan Sokolov scored 20 points and was named MVP of the game.

Lube were just that little bit better than Verona in all skills and silenced the sellout crowd of more than 5,000 after denying the hosts a full comeback.

The point dropped allowed Diatec Trentino to close in at the top of the standings, but with just two rounds to go until the end of the regular season and with still an eight-point margin, Lube had already secured the top spot and home advantage in the playoffs after claiming that second set Sunday evening.

Trentino defeated defending champions Azimut Modena 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-18) before another sellout crowd at the Palatrento, with Gabrile Nelli and Filippo Lanza - who was named MVP of the match - scoring 13 points and Slovenia's Tine Urnaut another 12. Luca Vetori with 16 points for Modena was top scorer of the game, but his side faced problems on the net and faltered in reception, conceding 7 aces in the three sets.

ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle widen lead in Poland
And in Poland, where the champions get a direct ticket to the 2017 FIVB Club World Championship next December, ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle remain in the lead of the table after MVP Dawid Konarski led them to a hard-earned 3-0 (30-28, 32-30, 31-29) win at home over GKS Katowice. Karol Butryn with 22 points for Katowice was top scorer of the game and Konarski shared the honours as best scorer of the winners with Sam Deroo of Belgium on 16 points each.

In fact, Kedzierzyn-Kozle widened their lead after second-ranked Asseco Resovia Rzeszow fell at home to Jastrzebski Wegiel 3-1 (25-21, 15-25, 26-24, 25-20) who were inspired by MVP Lukas Kampa and top scorer on 17 points Salvador Hidalgo Oliva.

Indykpol AZS Olsztyn have now caught up with Resovia, six points below Kedzierzyn-Kozle, after a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) away win over Effector Kielce. Milosz Zniszczol was MVP of that game and Jan Hadavra of the Czech Republic top scorer with 13 points for the winners.

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