Bajans fall at the end
Suriname came from behind to stun Barbados in the final of the 2014 World Volleyball Championship qualification men’s Pool E in the Clifton Hunter High School Gym in Grand Cayman Sunday night.
Barbados had never lost to the South American team and were also looking to repeat their preliminary win.
However, inspite of even greater support from a large group of Barbadians living and working in Grand Cayman, Barbados allowed Suriname to surge to victory in five sets 25-22, 18-25, 15-25, 25-20, 15-12.
Best Spiker Shawn Simpson continued to smoke the brand new court at the venue and with veteran Fabian Cox finally showing up after three preliminary games, Barbados should have maintained their winning edge.
Barbados served horribly in the first set to be stunned by Suriname. After taking sets two and three, Barbados threw away the serve six times in set four for Suriname to even the contest.
Best Scorer and MVP Keven Sporkledge and the 5’ 7” Antoine Vliet made mincemeat of Barbados’ net and ground defence to shift the advantage to the South Americans.
With the pint-sized Best Setter Dion Brunings running a swift and lethal attack for Suriname, Barbados lacked the imagination to exploit the fact that Suriname only used two blockers when their setter was in the front row.
Those two blockers and a mean ground defence denied the Bajans repeatedly and consigned them to second place in a tournament for which they were unanimous favourites.
Earlier, Aruba also came from two sets down to claim the third spot with a victory over the Caymans 21-25, 20-25, 25-11, 25-16, 15-13, with 43-year-old Frank Meermans impressing with his attack.
Suriname will advance to Group M where one of the teams they will face is Guatemala. Nicaragua arethe only team to qualify for Group I which Barbados are expected to host in April 2013.
Leshon Alexander of Barbados was named Best Server and Sheldon Roach Best Digger.