Aravena and Droguett win South American Tour gold with Volleyball Empowerment support

Volleyball Empowerment beneficiaries Michelle and Poletti take the women’s bronze

Two of the six medals at last week’s CSV Beach Volleyball South American Tour stop in Cochabamba, Bolivia went to teams benefitting from FIVB Volleyball Empowerment support. Chile’s Noe Aravena and Vicente Droguett (pictured in the main photo; credits Adriana Berrios / CSV) triumphed in the men’s tournament, while Paraguay’s Michelle Valiente and Giuliana Poletti took the bronze on the women’s side.

Chile’s beach volleyball has so far been allocated CHF 72,000 worth of coach support in addition to CHF 9,500 worth of beach volleyball equipment from Volleyball Empowerment, and Brazilian coach Adriano Bonina Cerqueira has been put in charge of their national duos.

After losing the Pool A final to top-seeded compatriots Marco Grimalt and Esteban Grimalt in the tie-breaker, Aravena and Droguett advanced to the knockouts as pool runners-up, but then went on a three-match winning streak all the way to the top of the podium.

In the quarterfinals, they produced a 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) win over Paraguay’s Gonzalo Melgarejo and Giuliano Massare Canillas, and followed up with a 2-1 (17-21, 21-19, 15-9) comeback victory over Argentina’s Bautista Amieva and Jose Augusto Sosaya in the semifinals. The final showdown also offered a tight three-set battle, in which the duo from Chile celebrated a 2-1 (22-20, 18-21, 15-13) win over another Argentinean pair, third-seeded Nicolas Capogrosso and Tomas Capogrosso, who had defeated Brazil’s Gabriel Dos Reis Santiago and Pedro Augusto Sousa De Oliveira by a narrow 2-0 (22-20, 21-19) in their semifinal.

Gabriel and Pedro secured a spot on the men’s podium after a 2-0 (21-14, 21-9) sweep of the bronze medal game against Amieva and Sosaya.

Men’s results and standings

The women’s national beach volleyball teams of Paraguay have so far been granted a total of CHF 180,000 worth of coach support from Volleyball Empowerment. Their national federation’s beach volleyball programme has also received another CHF 5,000 for national team coaches development and CHF 9,000 in beach volleyball equipment. Paraguay’s women’s national duos are coached by Lucelia Batista de Almeida.

In Cochabamba, third-seeded Valiente and Poletti started with three consecutive wins to reach the semifinals, where they lost to second-seeded Brazilians Hegeile Almeida and Vitoria Rodrigues in straight sets, 2-0 (21-17, 21-15). Another Paraguayan pair, Erika Bobadilla and Laura Ovelar, also reached the semifinals, where they lost to top-seeded Argentineans Ana Gallay and Brenda Ailen Churin in a tight three-setter, 2-1 (21-23, 21-19, 15-10), to set up an all-Paraguayan bronze medal match.

Valiente and Poletti secured a spot on the podium with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-10) victory over their compatriots.

Almeida and Rodrigues snatched the gold after a 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) sweep of the final against Gallay and Churin.

Women’s results and standings

A total of 15 men’s and 15 women’s duos from eight different countries took part in the event. The next stop on the CSV Beach Volleyball South American Tour will be in Rancagua, Chile from 23 to 25 February.