Last update: 19-Dec-2013 7:24 am
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Dominican Republic denies T&T volleyballers
This country senior men’s volleyball team failed in their bid to reach the quarterfinal stage of the eight Pan American Cup at the Juan de la Barrera Gymnasium, Mexico City, Mexico after going under to Dominican Republic 3-0 in a winner-take-all final Pool B round-robin match for both teams on Wednesday night.
Going into the contest, the Nolan Tash-captained T&T squad and Dominican Republic, both had 0-2 records while five-time champions USA and 2007 winner, Mexico shared top spot with 2-0 marks.
However, despite their best efforts, the “Calypso Spikers” proved no match for the Spanish-speaking islands who coasted to victory 25-18, 25-13, 25-16 to end in third spot with a 1-2 record while T&T ended bottom of the group.
For the winners, Henry Omar Tapia registered 15 points, while German Recio recorded 11 to subdue T&T which had a team-high eight points from Tash, and six from middle-blocker Kevin Nimrod.
Speaking after the match, Tash was gracious in defeat first congratulating his opponents on their win while praising his team for another improved effort.
He said, “Congratulations to Dominican Republic for this victory. They played very well and put some early pressure on us. They also showed good depth resting their captain and best player (Elvis Contreras and Jose Caceres).
“On the other hand, we played a little better and will now await our next opponents with the hope of getting a win to avoid ending last in the tournament.”
Coach Gideon Dickson, Tash’s brother added: “We battled on defence, improved a bit all-round, but like my captain said, we must continue to raise our level for the upcoming FIVB World Championship Qualifiers where we will most likely face these teams again.”
German Recio who acted as captain said, “T&T has improved. We struggled against one of their middle blockers that was taking too much balls but worked well on reception”, said German Recio, who acted as captain after coach Osiel Vazquez decided to rest Jose Caceres.
“We faced a very combative team that has played against more difficult, experienced and taller rivals. We are happy for the result, but must concentrate in improving our service, without failing many attempts per match,” coach Vazquez remarked
In the other Pool B match, Mexico handed USA only its second loss in the history of the competition with a five-set victory, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-22, 17-15 to top the pool with a 3-0 record and qualify to the semifinals automatically while the USA will met Puerto Rico, third in Pool A in one of two quarterfinals last night.
In the other quarterfinal played last night, Dominican Republic came up against Argentina, which went under to rivals, and 2011 champions, Brazil, 22-25, 19-25, 21-25 in their Pool A decider on Wednesday.
At the end of the Pan American Cup, the highest ranked participating team, not already qualified to the FIVB World League 2014, will qualify to the FIVB World League Qualification Tournament Challenge event.
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