T&T’s senior women’s volleyball squad avoided the cellar sport at the Norceca Women’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament with a straight sets win over Honduras at the Baja, California High Performance Centre, Tijuana Mexico on Saturday.
Led by 15 points from Abigail Gloud and ten from Germany-based captain, Krystle Esdelle, T&T, four-time Caribbean champions came away with a 25-10, 25-15, 25-23 victory in 62 minutes in their seventh to eighth spot playoff. The US-based Renele Forde and Delana Mitchell chipped in with eight points each for T&T in its first win in five matches. The local squad also only had ten players available for the match as Jalicia Ross, sat out with an injury, her second straight match on the sideline. For Honduras’ Catarine Leiva collected five points.
In the night’s final match, Dominican Republic became the sixth women’s team to qualify for this summer’s London Olympic Games with a thrilling 25-18, 25-23, 27-29, 25-20 win over three-time Olympic champions Cuba. They now join Italy, USA and China whol qualified to London through the FIVB World Cup last November along with African champions, Algeria and host Great Britain. The best-ranked team that doesn’t win the tournament will have another chance to clinch an Olympic berth in a repechage tournament to be played in Japan in May. Prior to the gold medal match, Puerto Rico battled past Canada, 25-20, 20-25, 25-14, 23-25, 15-11 for the bronze medal while Mexico got fifth after stopping Costa Rica 25-15, 25-21, 25-22.