Chargers rush into semi-finals
A magnificent display of spiking by left-handed St Lucian national player Dania Hamilton carried defending champions Chargers into the semi-finals of the Cooperators General Insurance Volleyball Knockouts when the quarter-finals were staged on Wednesday night at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
In a repeat of the 2009 finals, Chargers eliminated Sentry Insurance Deacons, 25-21, 14-25, 25-11, 22-25, 15-9, with Hamilton, setter Akeelah Blenman along with veteran Sharon Bovell, Avara Brown and Thonya Joseph turning back Deacons’ big trio of six-footers – Annette Chapman, Fabia Greaves and Julia Lewis.
Ironically, the underrated captain Mona Crawford was the most consistent player for Deacons who obviously wanted to erase the earlier shock defeat of their men’s team by O-Aces. Bovell was keen in seeing her team to the next round as she ignored an injury which had sidelined her up to that stage to link with Browne in playing solid support roles in attack and ground defence.
Chapman was aggressive for Deacons both at net and hitting out of the back court, but too many of Deacons’ other players proved inconsistent which almost saw the team picking up a “sow” in the third set. Deacons took a slight 3-1, lead in the decider with setter Sharleen Browne finding Chargers flat-footed to dump and score two balls.
However, better court defence and sensible setting by Blenman was supported by the attack of Browne, Bovell, Joseph and Hamilton who capped a fantastic night with a right-hand kill at game and set point. Chargers will meet Powerade the Club in Monday’s semis.
On Wednesday night, Carefree Toners stopped a plucky British American Insurance Jackson, 21-25, 25-23, 23-25, 32-30, 19-17, with 80s star Jennifer Harris coming off the bench to link forces with another veteran, Angelina Smith, in what must be considered some back-in-time volleyball.
Anthazia Mason and Talya Layne tried to do it all for the newly-promoted Jackson but the excess experience of Toners earned them a date with the Rockets on Monday.