COLORADO SPRINGS (Jan. 11, 2017) – Brazil men’s national team coach Bernardo Rezende, who led his team to the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, has announced he is retiring after 16 years.
Rezende will be replaced by former Brazilian player Renan Dal Zotto.
The U.S. Men have played many memorable matches against Brazil during Bernardinho’s (as he is known in Brazil) time as coach. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Brazil beat the U.S. in the semifinals and went on to win gold.
In 2008, the U.S. beat Brazil in Brazil in the semifinals of the FIVB World League Final Round. The U.S. went on to win World League. Brazil and the U.S. met again that year in the gold medal match at the Olympic Games in Beijing, where the U.S. also won.
In 2014, the U.S. met Brazil in the gold medal match for World League and won its second title.
In 2015, the U.S. Men welcomed Brazil for four USAV Cup exhibition matches in Southern California. Brazil won three of the four matches. Finally, at the 2016 Olympic Games, the U.S. Men were 0-2 in pool play when they beat Brazil and turned things around. The U.S. went on to win the bronze medal while Brazil took gold in its home country.
In December of 2016, Rezende did an interview with Globo Esporte in which he expressed concern about the health of his father.
Rezende leaves with his team ranked No. 1 in the world by the FIVB. He won three FIVB World Championships and eight FIVB World Leagues as head coach.
In the quarterfinals of the Italian Cup, middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati) and Azimut Modena beat Biosi Indexa Sora, 25-16, 34-32, 25-19 on Jan. 11. Holt scored seven points on four kills, two blocks and one ace. Modena will play Diatec Trentino in the semifinals on Jan. 28.
Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Cucine Lube Civitanova also advanced, defeating Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia in the quarterfinals on Jan 12, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22. Christenson scored two points on one kill and one block and set his team to a .434 hitting efficiency.
Also in the quarterfinals, outside hitter Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and Sir Safety Conad Perugia fell to LPR Piacenza, 17-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-13 on Jan. 11. Russell scored 10 points on nine kills and one ace. He was credited with 17 receptions, 47 percent positive.
In regular Italian league play, Christenson and first-place Civitanova beat Revivre Milano, 25-19, 25-16, 25-17 on Jan. 6. Christenson scored three points on two kills and one block. He set his team to a .515 hitting efficiency.
Holt was named MVP as Modena beat Top Volley Latina , 25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 15-10 on Jan. 8. Holt led his team with 19 points on 11 kills, four blocks and a match-high four aces.
Russell and Perugia topped Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia, 31-29, 22-25, 25-19, 25-15 on Jan. 8. Russell scored 16 points on 13 kills, two blocks and one ace. He was credited with 11 receptions, 45 percent positive.
Setter James Shaw (Woodside, Calif.), middle blocker Taylor Averill (San Jose, Calif.) and Kioene Padova fell to Exprivia Molfetta, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 on Jan. 8. Averill scored five points on four kills and one block. Shaw started the first two sets, substituted in the third and scored two points on two kills. He helped set his team to a .378 hitting efficiency.
Middle blocker David Smith (Saugus, Calif.), libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) and Cerrad Czarni Radom fell to BBTS Bielko-Biała, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23, 25-20 on Jan. 7. Smith scored nine points on five kills, three blocks and one ace.
Setter Jonah Seif (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), outside hitter Kyle Russell (Loomis, Calif.) and MKS Będzin fell to LOTOS Trefl Gdańsk, 25-21, 25-19, 27-25 on Jan. 8. Seif played as a substitute and started the third set, scoring two points on two blocks. Russell played as a substitute.
In their first match of the new year, libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) and setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk beat Kuzbass Kemerovo, 27-29, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20 on Jan. 8. Erik Shoji was credited with 22 receptions, 32 percent positive. Kawika Shoji started the first two sets and scored two points on one kills and one block.
Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), who plays outside hitter for Zenit Kazan, and his team beat Dinamo Krasnodar, 25-20, 25-23, 25-15 on Jan. 8. Anderson played as a substitute and started the third set, scoring eight points on five kills and three blocks. He was credited with seven receptions, 57 percent positive.
SVG Luneburg, including Americans Michael Brinkley, Scott Kevorken, Cody Kessel and Eric Fitterer, opened the new year with a 25-22, 25-21, 25-27, 21-25, 15-9 loss to United Volleys Rhein-Main on Jan. 7. Opposite Fitterer (Edwardsville, Ill.) led his team with 25 points on 18 kills, four blocks and three aces. Kessel (Colorado Springs, Colo.) added 18 points on 14 kills and four blocks. He was credited with 55 receptions, 49 percent positive. Kevorken (Westlake Village, Calif.) totaled nine points on seven kills, one block and one ace. Brinkley (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was credited with 19 receptions, 56 percent positive.
Outside hitter Greg Petty (Downers Grove, Ill.) led all scorers as Pamvohaikos beat Iraklis Chalkidas, 25-23, 15-25, 25-21, 25-9 on Jan. 8. Petty scored 17 points on 15 kills, one block and one ace. He was credited with 23 receptions, 35 percent positive.
U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Beijing suffered their first loss of the season when they fell to Shanghai, 12-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-18 on Jan. 12. Sander scored 11 points on eight kills, one block and two aces.
Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.) and his team Tianjin fell to Sichuan.