Barbados girls earn silver in junior volleyball
BARBADOS, I’m sorry. This time there was no suffering for Haiti.
The country’s first junior girls’ volleyball title continues to prove ever elusive, with the hosts falling woefully short at the final hurdle, via a crushing straight sets loss to Haiti in Sunday’s CAZOVA final at the Wildey Gym.
Clearly outmatched against tournament MVP Solaida Pierre, the hometown girls were surrendered meekly to a 25-15, 25-8, 25-9 tour-de-force demolition from Haiti.
At least the performance equalled Barbados’ best showing at this tournament, matching the second-place showing in 1997 when the Bajans also lost at home to arch rivals Trinidad.
The position came as no surprise this time though, considering Haiti beat the home side in four sets on Tuesday’s group opener.
But it wasn’t nearly as convincing as this as Barbados never led at any point in the match before the third set when they held a slim 9-7 cushion.
And that was only moments after the hosts handed over the second set at eight in a mere 17 minutes of pure pain.
“Our plan was really to start strong and put some pressure on them very early on but it didn’t work out the way we planned,” said head coach Patrick Oxley.
“We tried to change our line-ups, change our players but the passing wasn’t as good as we wanted that would’ve allowed us to flow our strong offence and that put us on the back foot.
“But the girls really fought and showed a lot of nerve towards the end,” he added.
It was quite different from the first two sets, where Barbados struggled to get any consistent passing which led to very few attempts for outside hitters Shonte Seale and Deandra Small.
Pierre had no such problems though, getting regular service from Jackie Cherry en route to a game-high 13 kills from the outside.
An 8-3 first-set lead quickly turned into a 12-5 advantage before Bajan setter Dashonta Addison helped Barbados rattle off a four straight points off her great flat serves.
However, the Bajans never got any closer the rest of the set once while libero Khadijah Callender had issues passing off Haiti’s serves.
The the ensuing substitutions never turned the tide, as the visitors flew out to a dizzying 10-3 lead after winning the first three points of the second set without bother.
And things only got worse from there in one horrific patch of bad volleyball that saw Barbados lose all shape in a 25-8 second-set spanking.
They did manage to make a game of it in the third though, getting out to an encouraging 3-1 lead before playing Haiti to a virtual standstill at 10-all.
However, Pierre continued to hit booming spikes from just about anywhere on the court before a Nesbherde Cherry ace gave Haiti a comfortable 19-14 cushion.
Pierre then duly closed out to give the small Haitian support all the reason to erupt.
Seale had nine points and Aaliyah Durant finished with seven while Pierre had 15 points. (JM)