A 12-member national junior (Under-20) women’s volleyball team will leave today at 5 pm via Panama for Nicaragua to compete at the Norceca Continental Junior (Under-20) Women’s Championship. The local squad to be captained by Makila Yorke will overnight in Panama City on its arrival there tonight, before moving onto Managua, Nicaragua for the tournament which runs from Tuesday until August 27. In addition to Yorke, libero and senior team member Rechez Lindsay as well as Kerdisha Douglas are the only new faces in the team to be coached by Macsood Ali compared to the team which participated at the Norceca Women’s U-18 Continental Championship in Tijuana, Mexico on Saturday last, where T&T placed sixth. In Nicaragua, the nine-team tournament will be played at the Gimnasio Polideporstivo Espana and will feature the top five teams in the Norceca rankings, Dominican Republic, USA, Cuba, Mexico and Costa Rica along with T&T, Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala.
T&T qualified for the tournament having won the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Under-20 title in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, earlier this year, while Antigua & Barbuda won the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association Championship, and Guatemala, the Central American tournament. The 17th ranked T&T faces a tough battle to get out of its three-team group after it was drawn in Group C with the second and third ranked teams, USA and Cuba. Costa Rica, seeded fifth in Norceca is in Group A with eighth ranked Antigua & Barbuda and host Nicaragua while top seeded Dominican Republic is in Group B with fourth ranked Mexico and tenth seeded Guatemala. At the conclusion of the Norceca Junior Women’s Continental Championship the top three teams will qualify to next year’s FIVB Junior Women’s World Championships to be held in Czech Republic.
T&T team: Rechez Lindsay, Kerdisha Douglas, Makila Yorke, Maya Roberts, Reann Young, Tya Jane Ramey, Aliya Ross Dick, Aaliyah Alexis, Zahra Collins, Latisha Morain, Kaylon Cruickshank, Kiana Young.
Technical staff: Macsood Ali (coach), Saleem Ali (assistant coach), Kamla Elcock (manager), Mona Lindsay (chaperone)
Referee: Betty-Ann Augustine.
Tournament groupings and schedule:
Group A: Costa Rica, Antigua & Barbuda, Nicaragua
August 21: Costa Rica vs Antigua & Barbuda, 3 pm
August 22: Nicaragua vs Antigua & Barbuda, 7 pm
August 23: Nicaragua vs Costa Rica, 7 pm
Group B: Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic
August 21: Mexico vs Guatemala, 7 pm
August 22: Dominican Republic vs Guatemala, 3 pm
August 23: Dominican Republic vs Mexico, 3 pm
Group C: USA, T&T, Cuba
August 21: USA vs T&T, 5 pm
August 22: Cuba vs T&T, 5 pm
August 23: USA vs Cuba, 5 pm
August 24: Classification ninth & quarterfinals
August 25: Classification seventh/eight & semifinals
August 26: Classification fifth/sixth & finals and third place playoffs.