Chargers men stay unbeaten
League?Kings Chargers qualified for the semi-finals of the Goddard Enterprises Limited Senior Volleyball Knockouts with their unbeaten record intact on Wednesday night but league queens Warrens Jaguars surrendered theirs.
While both Chargers men and Warrens women held on to the No.1 spots when the final preliminaries were played at the Wildey Gymnasium, Chargers stopped defending champions Sandy Crest Medical Centre Deacons 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 28-26, 15-9 as Warrens went down to Freekz Customs Chargers 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 27-29, 7-15.
Former national captain Elwyn Oxley played some back-in-time volleyball to threaten last year’s losing finalists Chargers with their first loss of the season. However, in a game spiced with awesome blocks and spikes, there were too many controversial calls by the officials as Chargers survived to end with a maximum 25 points from five wins.
Oxley spurred his rebuilding team to carry the fight to Chargers, with Jamaican Mark Lewis looking fallible for the first time for the season. However, Damien Danzell picked up the slack for Chargers, who rebounded after the first set to hold a two-sets advantage.
Deacons almost lost the plot in the critical fourth set when a kill from former Chargers Jamal Nedd and a stare down galled Chargers to move from 20-23 to 24-23 until a backcourt attack by Oxley kept his team alive in a set where set point switched back and forth.
However, Chargers’ superior attack and daunting net shutout made the deciding set a one-sided contest.
Chargers will face Progressive who edged Cawmere for the final spot with a 25-16, 20-25, 25-16, 25-22 victory.
The hitting power of Shawn Simpson was not enough to deny Progressive the fourth spot as Fabian Cox, Renier Grace and Akeem Payne were aided by a clutch of Juniors. Those same Juniors will battle Deacons in the semis.
Defending women’s knockout champions Brydens Rockets wasted no time on court as they blasted Flow Sentry Brokers Deacons, 25-15, 25-16, 25-16, with professional duo Anicia Wood and Shari Matthews too potent for an inconsistent Deacons.
Warrens held Chargers on the ropes with the underrated Lisa Clarke, Avara Browne and Shani Leacock battling to dent Warrens’ record. However, while Leacock’s feeble attempts to spike serve handed the serve and a point to Warrens, most of the time she went to the service area, the slimly built player scored heavily with her quick attack and crushing blocks on the inform Rhe-Ann Niles.
After Chargers forced the decider with a nerve-wracking 29-27 win in the fourth set, Warrens fell apart, giving up a 2-8 advantage in the fifth set. The implosion was completed when Warrens’ three most experienced players – Talya Layne, Anthazia Mason and Sophia Walcott – threw away their serves in succession.
Warrens still topped the qualifiers with 27 points and will meet fourth-placed Deacons (21) in the semis. The Rockets (25 points) will face Chargers (22).