Rio show of power in South American Club opener


Rexona-Sesc Rio de Janeiro in action against Boca Juniors of Buenos Aires on the opening day of the South American Club World Championship in Uberaba.

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 15, 2017 - Defending champions Rexona-Sesc Rio de Janeiro produced an impressive display of power to defeat Boca Juniors of Buenos Aires 3-0 (25-17, 25-8, 25-8) on the opening day of the South American Club Championship in Uberaba, but reigning Argentina champions Villa Dora of Santa Fe shut out Olympic of Cochabamba 3-0 (25-6, 25-17, 25-19) in the other pool in the neighbouring city of Uberlandia.

For the Rio side it was the first step towards their third straight and fourth overall title in the competition, which comes with a direct ticket to the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship in Kobe, 8-14 May.

Drussyla Costa and Gabi Guimaraes scored 7 points each to lead Rexona-Sesc, but Micaela Fabiani was top scorer of the game with 10.

"[Our coach] Bernardinho always asks us for a greater commitment against teams considered weaker than ourselves because there is always a possibility of complacency that is natural," said setter Camila Adao after the game. "The crowd was wonderful," she added.

"To really be in this South American competition is a source of great pride for us and playing in a venue like this is something phenomenal, a monumental place the likes of which we do not have in our country," said Villa Dora coach Lorena Gongora, after her team opened victorious against their Bolivian opposition in just 56 minutes.

Olympic Cochabamba coach Alejandro Gimenez was equally awed by the facilities in Uberlandia, home of Pool A leaders, Dentil Praia Clube. "We are surprised by this magnificent infrastructure of this gym. This club [Praia] is simply colossal, very clean and organised. We come from a city well above sea level and therefore we had a lot of difficulty today," he said.

Alejandra Westergaard was top scorer of that game with 22 points, with Fernanda Maida scoring 7 for Olympic.

Competition in Uberaba and Uberlandia continues Wednesday evening with more pool play.

The winners of the South American Club Championship will join hosts Hisamitsu Springs of Kobe and reigning Asian Champions NEC Red Rockets of Kawasaki in the Club Worlds in May. The 2017 European Champions League winners will also receive a direct ticket before the full roster is completed with the addition of four wild cards.

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