Mixed fortunes for Bajans
Barbados had another mixed day at the third Caribbean Youth Volleyball Championships when the boys romped to a second successive win, while the girls stumbled to another loss at the Central High Gymnasium in the United States Virgin Islands Sunday.
Playing just a starting six, Barbados were piloted by their trio of captain Jabarry Goodridge, Andriy Stapleton and Nathaniel McClean in flying past defending champions Curacao 25-10, 23-25, 25-14, 25-21.
Centres Chioke Holder and Ammuniki Wood were also dominant at net.
However, Barbados lapsed in the second set at 16-8, to allow the explosive Derrik Alexandre some flight to even the contest behind his relentless attacks.
But, Goodridge and McClean countered for the Bajans to hover on the brink of playing in today’s semifinals as the top team.
Barbados would have met hosts US Virgin Islands last night with the view of finishing the playoffs unbeaten to meet possibly Trinidad and Tobago as the fourth placed team.
The Bajan girls would have been facing an opposite and unwanted prospect of ending fourth and having to take on Trinidad and Tobago in today’s semis.
On Sunday, Barbados’ inexperienced girls played an improved game but still suffered their second straight sets loss going down to USVI 14-25, 21-25, 24-26.
Captain Tia Jones once again played consistent while Deandra Small and Kayla Richards came off of the bench to make telling contributions.
Barbados would have met Haiti yesterday where only a straight sets loss would have kept them out of the fourth spot and a date with Trinidad and Tobago today.
On Saturday’s opening day, Barbados also had mixed fortunes.
Immediately after the opening ceremony on Saturday night, Barbados’ boys lead by the trio of captain Jabarry Goodridge, Andriy Stapleton and Nathaniel McClean routed nemesis Trinidad and Tobago, 25-16, 25-13, 25-18.
However, Trinidad and Tobago girls then ripped the Bajans, 25-9, 25-20, 25-11.
Barbados’ boys started nervously but McClean showed tremendous maturity in defence and attack to compensate for the jittery start by his teammates. However, once the nerves settled, Goodridge and Stapleton as well as 6’4” Chioke Holder dented any hopes Trinidad and Tobago might have entertained of beating the Bajans.
Coach John Stuart rested McClean in the second set to give a run to Adam Niles who also started nervously mixing some errors with several crisp kills.
McClean returned in the third set – after the Trinis led for the first time – for Barbados to regain control and to end the contest in straight sets.