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Blake, Williams fifth in Guatemala
Local duo, Simon Blake and Daneil Williams had to settle for fifth on the penultimate day of the third-leg of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour, the Gatorade’s Guatemala Beach Volleyball Tournament at Campo Marte Park, Guatemala City, Guatemala on Saturday.
The Toco-born pair was beaten by Cubans Karell Pina and Sergio Gonzalez 16-21, 18-21 in their quarterfinal encounter.
Earlier, the T&T players whipped Dominican Republic’s Luis Castillo and Alex Medina 21-11, 21-14 in their final Pool C round-robin match for a 3-0 record and an automatic last-eight spot.
On Friday’s opening day, Blake and Williams were one of six men’s pairings to enjoy a 2-0 record.
Playing in a four-team Pool E round-robin series, Williams and Blake, who were coming off a seventh-placed finish from 13 teams at the second-leg Boca Chica Presidente Beach Volleyball Tournament, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic last month, came from a set down to beat Guatemala-C Luis Torres and Mario Ramirez, 16-21, 21-11, 15-3 in 50 minutes in their tournament opener.
The T&T duo, who were also 11th out of 16 men’s teams in the opening tournament of the season, the fifth edition of the Cayman Islands Beach Volleyball Tournament then swept past Hondurans, Jesus Oliva Quintanilla and Manuel Serrano 21-17, 21-17.
In Pool D, Piña and Gonzalez stopped Carlos Talavera Escobar/David Vargas of El Salvador-A 21-14, 21-18 and Grant O’Gorman/Sam Pedlow of Canada-A 25-23, 21-14 on Friday and defeated winless Bahamians Tonny Simon and Prince’tanique Wilson, 21-10, 21-9 for a 3-0 record as well.
In Pool C, the T&T Under-21 duo, Akim Bushe and Taran Deonath, ended bottom of the group with a 0-3 record after losing their final match against Guatemala-B, Julio Recinos and Luis Garcia, 14-21, 4-21.
On Friday, Bushe and Deonath were beaten by Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen, 10-21, 9-21 and then against Cayman Islanders Richard Campbell and Duncan Hamann, 12-21, 21-13, 8-15.
In the three other quarterfinals, Puerto Rico-A, Roberto Rodriguez and Erik Haddock beat Grant O’Gorman and Samuel Pedlow of Canada-A 16-21, 21-18, 18-16 to set up a semifinal clash with Ontiveros/Virgen, 21-11, 21-8 winners over Quintanilla and Serrano while USA-A, Slick Stafford and John May booted host players Andy Leonardo and Erick Garrido 21-12, 22-20 and meet Piña and Gonzalez for a place in the gold medal match.
Among the women, T&T’s Elki Phillip and Apphia Glasgow were 12th in their first tournament of the season as well as playing as team-mates after losing to Dominican Republic’s Nairobi Agramonte and Diana Peguero, 14-21, 9-21 in their round-of-16 match.
In their final Pool D round-robin match on Saturady, a must-win contest, Phillip and Glasgow battled past Hondurans, Gina Flores and Martha Euceda 20-22, 21-16, 18-16 in 53 minutes to end with a 1-1 record for second spot behind USA-2, Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar.
The Americans beat the T&T women 8-21, 4-21 while Flores and Euceda, also suffered at the hands of the North Americans, 5-21, 4-21.
It was the second win for Agramonte and Peguero over a T&T team after they defeated the T&T-B combination of LaTeisha Joseph and Kinesha Marshall in their two Pool F meeting, 7-21, 8-21 by Dominican Republic’s Nairobi Agramonte.
Joseph and Marshall also fell to Costa Ricans, Valeria Valenciano and Angie Montero, 18-21, 21-15, 15-1 to bow out of the tournament.
Yesterday in the semis, the two women teams of USA met in the semifinals with defending champions Jenny Kropp and Whitney Pavlik USA-A against Hochevar and Day while host players, Maria Jose Orellana and Lourdes Ramirez of Guatemala-A meet Kacie MacTavish and Caleigh Whitaker of Canada-A.
In the quarters round Kropp/Pavlik defeated Peguero and Agramonte 21-9, 21-19; Hochevar/Day beat Victoria Altomare and Sophie Bukovec of Canada-B 21-19, 21-16; Orellana/Ramirez defeated Cayman Islands’ team of Wolfenden/Alexander 21-16, 21-12, and MacTavish/Whitaker outlasted Nicaraguans Swan Mendoza and Elia Torres 21-11 in both sets.