21. 04. 2019

BRA W: Minas take lead in finals against Praia, injury of Fê Garay spoils amazing match

Source: globoesporte.globo.com, superliga.cbv.com.br; Photo: minastenisclube.com.br

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Itambé Minas took an important step to winning the Brazilian Women’s Volleyball Championship title after 17 years.

 

The top seed Itambé Minas won Game 1 of the Superliga Cimed 2018-2019 playoff finals against the No.2 seed and also the reigning champions Dentil/Praia Clube in five sets, making a huge step towards winning the title after 17 years: 3-2 (28-26, 25-22, 17-25, 17-25, 15-6).

Minas were supported by 8,500 fans at the Mineirinho Arena (official name Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drummond) as the Belo Horizonte club officials decided to change the home venue for the playoff finals in order to give a chance to all supporters who are interested to watch their favorite players to attend the match. Thus, they decided not to host Praia at the Arena Minas Tênis Clube, in which they hosted all rivals during the season, but in the biggest indoor sporting arena in Brazil, in which Minas won their last national title in 2002.

The injury of a 2012 London Olympics gold medalist Fernanda Garay “Fê Garay” cast a dark shadow on the encounter. The experienced outside hitter from Praia sprained her right ankle by stepping on a foot of a rival player Mara Leão at 24-24 in the first set and left the court in tears.

Gabriela Guimarães “Gabi” top-scored for Minas with 22 points. Mayany Souza contributed to a win with four kill blocks while libero Léia Silva made 72% positive reception (46 total, one error, 30% perfect). American Nicole Fawcett highlighted for Praia with 30 points. Ana Carolina Silva “Carol” set up nine (!) of the team’s 22 kill blocks.

The best-of-three playoff finals now go to Uberlândia as Praia will host Game 2. For having the best regular season campaign, Minas will be rewarded with the household of Game 3, in case Praia tie the series, which would be a decisive match for the championship.

Superliga Cimed 2018-2019 playoff finals – Game 1:

(1) Itambé Minas – (2) Dentil/Praia Clube 3-2 (28-26, 25-22, 17-25, 17-25, 15-6), series 1-0

 

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