Bajan boys, girls on losing end
Barbados’ boys lost their last preliminary game to hosts, United States Virgin Islands, while the girls let slip a great chance of tasting victory when the round robin matches were completed in the 3rd Youth Caribbean Volleyball Championship here at the Central High Gymnasium, St Croix.
Backed by a crowd of vociferous supporters, USVI played a hyper game to negate deficits of 13-16, 12-16, and 11-16, to power past Barbados and snap their unbeaten record, 25-23, 25-23, 25-19.
That victory allowed the USVI to remain unbeaten and to set up a date yesterday with Trinidad and Tobago in the semi-finals.
Barbados, who would have played Curaçao in the semis yesterday, had looked like reaching the semis without dropping a match after Jabarry Goodridge, Nathaniel McClean and Andriy Stapleton once again launched an aggressive attack.
However, the counter of Nayib Gonzalez, Aseah Thomas, Jordan Evans and Senuah Benjamin, orchestrated by Lakish Plante, saw the Bajans’ big trio and centres Ammuniki Wood and Chioke Holder seemingly blocking at smoke.
It was not smoke which pounded Barbados’ court as defenders like libero Matthew Bailey, Stapleton and McClean were constantly beaten by power or placement as Barbados seemed helpless to stop the assault.
The over-the-top celebrations and photo-ops which followed suggested that USVI prematurely considered the win to be the finals.
Barbados’ girls had looked like stopping Haiti in straight sets and avoiding the unbeaten Trinidasd and Tobago in yesterday semis after Ashely Marshall, (captain), Tia Jones and Kyla Richards carried the Bajans two sets up.
However, too many unforced errors and a lack of support saw Barbados fading, 25-21, 25-21, 11-25, 13-25, 5-15.