Top teams in finals
It took over four hours and ten nail biting, heart stopping sets of volleyball for No.1 and 2 ranked teams, Chargers and Warrens Jaguar to book their spots in Sunday’s finals of the Cooperators General Insurance Senior Knockout tourney.
While queens Chargers finally escaped the challenge from The Rockets in the fifth set to win, 24-26, 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 15-7, the meandering game between Warrens and Sentry Insurance Brokers Deacons twisted and turned more so in the fifth set with Warrens taking the match, 20-25, 25-23, 13-25, 25-23, 21-19.
Left to the designs of swimsuit body champion, Shakera Doughlin and Fabia Greaves, Deacons would have avenged the loss which they suffered to Warrens in the preliminaries.
However, the inconsistency of six footers Julia Lewis and Annette Chapman once again doomed Deacons in a big clash.
Warrens’ setter Sophia Walcott and veteran Anthazia Mason along with the battling Talya Layne found a heroine in Jeneice Clarke who has already shown her netball and basketball skills. Clarke, along with Mason, carried the match into the fifth set which saw Warrens rushing to a 5-0, lead.
Greaves pulled the game back and Deacons actually chopped down a deficit of 8-12 to advance to game and match point, 14-12. But with Clarke and Mason showing no fear as opposed to Deacons’ front court, the advantage swung back and forth with only Greaves showing that she was going to attack for victory.
However, after both teams held game and set point in the extended fifth setter, Deacons gave Warrens a free ball which Walcott passed to Mason to end the tension and carry Warrens into their first senior finals in their second year in Division 1.
A timid attack from the Rockets also let Chargers off the hook with professionals Shari Matthews and Anicia Wood being too choosy in which set to crunch while Chargers’ fiery left-hander Dania Hamilton and captain Thonya Joseph were brutal with every set given. The solid all-round play of Chargers’ Sharon Bovell was also a component which the Rockets lacked.
Remarkably, Rockets did well to carry the game to five sets since their service was patchy and Canadian setter Leila Piper was blown regularly for lifting the ball. But the team spirit and support of the Rockets team carried the fight to Chargers who would have been relieved to rush to a 11-3 advantage in the decider.
In the preliminaries, the Chargers had destroyed Warrens in straight sets. More than 90 per cent of the Jaguars, including coach Adrian Harewood and trainer Ricky Carter, evolved from Chargers.