Bajans go under in v-ball
Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe – After winning the first set, Barbados went down 3-1 (14-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-7) to the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) in their final Pool A round robin match at the Ninth Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior Men’s Championship.
This set up a three-way 1-1 tie in the group as USVI ended with five points, while Curaçao and Barbados both had four.
Curaçao, the defending champions, advanced to today’s semi-finals as group winners, but the Barbados Under-21 players were last night locked in a quarter-final battle with Trinidad and Tobago.
USVI were up against The Bahamas who finished last in Pool B without winning a single match.
Playing at the Paul Chonchon Sports and Cultural Centre, USVI’s Aseah Thomas had a tournament high 22 points. He had 18 kills, while captain Nayib Gonzalez added a valuable 13 points – ten of which were kills – and three blocks.
The pair of Tahir Williams and Nosakhere Williams also chipped in with six points each for the winners, who had to overcome the last-minute injury to setter Carlos Rosa just before the first serve.
For the Barbadians, who just needed a win to top the group and secure an automatic semi-final spot, Jabarry Goodridge was once again their main contributor with 14 points, laced with 13 kills while captain Ammuniki Wood got nine.
Both teams were very even in attack, with 29 spikes each, while the shorter USVI players managed to get the edge on blocks (13-8) and dominated on serves (10-1) and limited their errors to 36 as compared to Barbados’ 38.
Wood, commenting on the loss, said his team fell apart after getting what he described as a great start.
“We won the first set by playing some good volleyball, but USVI then stepped up their game while ours fell apart. When they went ahead, we knew it was going to be tough from our past experiences and now we have to focus on our next match in the quarter-finals and play much better to get to the semi-finals.”
Gonzalez said his team was very sloppy early on but the coach told them to settle down and they got organized.
“We then began to play a better game and eventually took control of the match. With the win, our confidence is now very high, but it is important that we don’t get too ahead of ourselves going into the next match. We have to remain focused and plan well for whoever we face,” Gonzalez said.
An upset John Stuart, coach of the Barbados, team praised the USVI team, for a match well played and deserved victory.
He said USVI were “a much better team” and going into the quarter-finals hoped the players would be able to step up their game considerably, regardless of the opponent. (PR/SAT)