Fans Make the Difference in Volleyball
By Dialogo July 19, 2011
If the rules allow for the entry of a seventh player on the court, the crowd
would be it, if coach Flávio Marinho of the of Brazilian men’s volleyball team had
anything to say about it. Volleyball matches at these Military World Games have
attracted a lively and enthralled crowd at the Maracanãzinho Gym.
During two intense hours of match play on July 18, the 1,600 spectators on hand watched
Brazil edge out Qatar in a hard fought win for the hosts. The Brazilians won by 3 sets
to 1, winning 25-27, 25-20, 25-14 and 35-33. “Both teams are to be
congratulated for the show, and the fans for their part,” said Sgt Thiago
Sens, who led all scorers with 19 points.
While the Brazilian team kept on committing mistakes, the crowd kept the
pressure on the Qatari team. In three decisive plays in the second and fourth sets,
the Brazilian fans helped turn the score.
In the fourth set, one of the Qatari players, Zied Benlouafer (18 points),
gave his team a one point lead before going to serve. Just before serving, the
Brazilian crowd got so loud, it caused Zied’s serve to go into the net. On the next
play, Sergeant Douglas Lamb tied it up for Brazil with an unreturnable serve.
When the host team was not on the court, the Brazilian fans threw their
support behind another team. In the heated battle between the U.S. and Italy in
women’s volleyball, the Italians got the crowd’s support, probably due to the
large number of descendants of Italian immigrants in Brazil.
For their part, the Americans had the enthusiastic support of male
counterparts, who attended the match on Monday, July 18. The American team played a
hard fought match that lasted until the fifth set. Italy won with partial scores of
25-18, 21-25, 25-11, 24-26 and 15- 8.