The?results?of the Goddard Enterprises Division 1 volleyball season confirmed that former Caribbean MVP Shari Matthews and current best scorer Shawn Simpson are the superior spikers in Barbados.
Unfortunately, those returns also underscored the poorness of the local game where without a supporting cast, Simpson and Cawmere ended without any silverware while Matthews and Brydens Rockets were only pipped in their final game to be denied a first ever double crown title.
Simpson, like Matthews, proved unstoppable in almost every court battle. However, while Cawmere’s Raffeal Lovell, Gavin Brewster, Eadium Cobham and Wendell Beckles did help to give the team a real sniff at the league crown, in the end, the challenge from the other teams denied Cawmere any champagne as kings.
Sandy Crest Medical Centre Deacons, in a post Elwyn Oxley era, looked good with young guns Kyle Brown, Klode Thompson, Sheldon Roach and Ronald Rice, plus captain Jamaal Nedd. They took the knockout crown and showed the form to win the league also.
Upset losses by Deacons and defending champions Chargers rebooting denied Deacons any more glory.
Chargers started badly with injury to Mark Lewis and Damien Danzell affecting their play. However, setter Alain London found fighters in a determined Dale Addison and Dwayne Howell for Chargers to correct the poor start and capture their fourth league crown.
The bottom half of the group performed poorly with Progressive suffering from a consistent setter. Renier Grace is past his best and ‘the now you see me, now you don’t’ Fabian Cox played as if he was in a cricket game where only sixes and not singles mattered.
Akeem Payne played well but he is yet to become a match winner.
Foundation United continued to make a misnomer of their name since disunity was reflected in their game and roster with the team struggling to find a consistent and performing starting six. Little surprise that Foundation ended last with the talented Juniors handing them three defeats in the season.
While Matthews received support from Anicia Wood during the first half of the sesason, Rockets were forced to carry a lot of non-paying passengers. Katrina Wickham, Lisa Austin and Paula Nicholls often went absent in body or play which compounded setter’s Andrea Flores’ plight of finding a productive attacker when Matthews rotated to the back court.
That situation exposed the Rockets to a double blow from the Toners and in a face off for the crown they folded to Warrens. The play of six-footer Rhe-ann Niles along with the experience of Anthazia Mason, Talya Layne and setter Sophia Walcott gave Warrens a deserved first title.
Injury to Dania Hamilton and the retirement of Sharon Bovell from first division saw Freekz Customz Chargers stuttering and losing both titles this season.
Surprisingly, Chargers played their best game at the end of the league to beat the Rockets in straight sets and deny them the double.
Nothing highlights the unpredictability of women’s volleyball more than the performance of Deacons, who with six-footers, Annette Chapman, Fabia Greaves, Julia Lewis and setter, Sharlene Browne and a host of talented youngsters should be dominating. However, the ability of those players to bleed points incessantly left Deacons scrambling to win games.
Toners seem to be attracting some youngsters to bolster the efforts of the experienced Shirley Hoyte, Shennell Pooler and Janelle Chase-Mayers. Safe Carlton, with Ayesha Maycock, Kandia Shorey, Shakera Jack and Janelle Morris also look good for the future.
The same cannot be said for Plus Club United, who struggled to get Nicole Puckerin to rally a group of youngsters with Puckering often committing more errors than her charges. With no identifiable blocking or spiking leader, little wonder that they failed to win a game during the season.