RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, March 27, 2021 - The
2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League is quickly
approaching and some of the players who are
expected to be in the spotlight when the
international tournament starts in about two
months gave a small sample of what they can do
at the start of the semifinals of the 2020-2021
Brazilian Women’s Superliga.
Dominican star Brayelin Martinez, who is
expected to play a pivotal role for her national
team during the international season, had a
tremendous performance to help Dentil Praia
Clube start ahead in their best-of-three series
against Osasco Sao Caetano Saude.
With 23 points from the Dominican opposite, who
had 18 kills, two aces and three blocks, Praia
secured a 3-2 (25-21, 19-25, 18-25, 25-17,
15-12) win against their rivals.
Star middle blocker Ana Carolina ‘Carol’ da
Silva and London 2012 Olympic champion outside
hitter Fernanda Garay, who are both expected to
be part of Brazil’s roster during the 2021 VNL,
produced 14 and 12 points respectively. The
middle blocker generated half of her total in
blocks and received the player of the match
“I’m very happy about the way we played,” the
29-year-old Carol reflected. “We all gave
everything we had and we needed it because
Osasco are a great team. We’ll take the next two
days to rest and study their game.”
Despite Martinez’s stellar performance, the
Dominican wasn’t even close to being the match’s
top scorer. That’s because London 2012 Olympic
champion and Brazil’s national team star
opposite Tandara Caixeta carried Osasco
offensively, ending the night with a 34-point
mark in the loss (31 kills, two blocks and one
ace). Outside hitter Gabriela Candido, who was
part of Brazil’s roster during the 2019 FIVB
World Cup, came off the bench to score 12.
The other semifinal, involving top-seeded Itambe
Minas and SESI Volei Bauru, featured a great
showing by Brazil's national team starting
setter Macris Carneiro. The best setter of the
2019 edition of the VNL led Minas to a 3-1
(25-22, 24-26, 25-19, 25-17) victory in the
first match between the teams.
Her great ball distribution facilitated strong
performances by two-time Olympic champion middle
blocker Thaisa Menezes, who scored 21 points (15
in kills, four in blocks and two aces), and by
outside hitters Pri Daroit, who had 20 (15
kills, three blocks and two aces) and Megan
Easy, who added 18 (16 kills, one block and one
“Playing with her makes our lives a lot easier,”
Daroit, who was part of Brazil’s roster during
the 2018 edition of the VNL commented. “She’s
really fast and always finds the right option.
This was a very important result for us and we
will celebrate it, but tomorrow we need to think
about the second match already. SESI have a
strong team and the series is not over yet.”
SESI’s scoring load was split between outside
hitter Tiffany Abreu, who produced 22 points (20
kills and two blocks) and Azeri star opposite
Polina Rahimova, who scored 20 (17 kills, two
blocks and one ace).
The second match of both series will be played
on Sunday, March 28. If needed, a third and
final match will be played on Tuesday, March 30.
The semifinals and the finals of the Superliga
are being held at the Brazilian Federation
training facility in Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro.