Captain Krystle Esdelle notched 21 points, as T&T defeated host Suriname in four sets to top the preliminary round of Pool A in the World Volleyball Women’s Norceca first round qualifiers in Paramaribo, yesterday. The win set up a final with Guadeloupe last night. Kelly-Ann Billingy and Sinead Jack contributed 13 points each, while Channon Thompson recorded 11 to guide T&T to a 25-19, 21-25, 25-17, 25-6 victory in one hour, 29 minutes in the final round-robin match at the Ismay Van Wilgen Sports Hall. T&T ended with a 3-0 record and topped the group with 13 points, six more than Guadeloupe (2-1) and Suriname (1-2) while Bahamas (0-3) ended with two points. For Suriname, which needed a victory to finish ahead of Guadeloupe and book a finals spot, Sandrina Hunsel was kept to only seven points and Chavelli Wip, five, while 14-year-old Kame Sigourney added four.
The Calypso Spikers, reigning Caribbean champions, while not playing to their full potential, still controlled the match and led in all key facets - 41-13 in spikes, 11-6 in blocks and 17-3 on service aces. Esdelle noted T&T’s 25-6 dominance in the last set and said it was more like the level she expects from her team. “Early on, we were too complacent, making many errors and over thinking the match. We eventually settled down and played better and we now look ahead to the match with Guadeloupe which we want to win to claim the gold medal. In yesterday’s penultimate round-robin match, Guadeloupe came from a set down to beat Bahamas 16-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-18. On Saturday night, T&T followed up its win against Bahamas in its opener, by sweeping past Guadeloupe in the preliminary round 25-17, 25-14, 25-13, led by Thompson’s 13 points. Billingy chipped in with 12 and Esdelle 11 while Guadeloupe captain, Isabelle Acina, had eight points to lead her team. In the other match, Suriname crushed Bahamas 25-22, 25-15, 25-15.