Champs likely to make finals
WOMEN’S champions Brydens Rockets and men’s kings Sandy Crest Medical Centre Deacons are expected to advance to the finals of the Goddard Enterprises Limited Senior Volleyball Knockouts when the semi-finals are staged tonight at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
The Rockets will battle last year’s losing finalists Freekz Customz Chargers at 6:30 p.m. while Deacons meet the Juniors at 8 p.m.
The other semis pit the unpredictable Flow Sentry Brokers Deacons against league queens Warrens Jaguars and former title-holders Progressive against league kings Chargers.
Chargers remain the only unbeaten team and it is unlikely that Progressive will stop Chargers from meeting Deacons in the finals as they did last season. Fabian Cox, Akeem Payne and Reneir Grace are capable of destroying any opponents.
However, the overwhelming power of Chargers’ attack led by Jamaican Mark Lewis and the blocking strength, ground defence as well as the setting skills of captain Alain London make Chargers the favourites.
Deacons had lost their preliminary game to the Juniors, who were on fire with Jabarry Goodridge, Ammuniki Wood and others piloting the Juniors to a record four victories. However, the departure of Goodridge has seen the Juniors cooling off while the rebirth of Elwyn Oxley has given Deacons an on court leader and a shot at someone tripping up Chargers.
However, Deacons have to first repay the Juniors and with Oxley at the helm, Jamal Nedd, Kyle Browne, Sheldon Roach and the remaining average players, will try to regain the lofty standards of the most successful local volleyball team.
The women’s finalists are harder to predict. Since regaining setter Andrea Flores, the Rockets, with professional duo Anicia Wood and Shari Matthews have been unbeaten. Once Flores stick to the script of setting every ball to one of that duo, Rockets should go past Chargers.
However, since Wood and Matthews play centre and outside respectively, the duo will have rotations where both will be in the backcourt together producing a weak front court attack or in the front court together creating an overkill.
Thus, the supporting staff of Katrina Wickham and company will have to hold the fort until one of the duo returns to front court. It will be up to the likes of Thonya Joseph, Avara Browne and Sharon Bovell to exploit the situation and cause an upset of the Rockets.
After losing their final game from a two-sets advantage to Chargers, Warrens have shown a weakness akin to their opponents Deacons. However, sensible setting from Sophia Walcott could see the imposing Rhe-Ann Niles and Anthazia Mason getting over Deacons once the support crew plays their part.
Deacons’ problem is that it is hard to tell who form the front line attack or the support crew. Dionne Licorish and Kamesha Webb have shown more consistency than six-footers Julia Lewis and Fabia Greaves and it is consistency which will determine the outcome of their game. against Warrens.