Joan Cheryl Cooper received death threats over a year ago, following an ongoing land dispute.
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Blake, Williams miss out on Chula Vista quarterfinals
T&T’s Simon Blake and Daneil Williams missed out on qualification to yesterday’s main draw quarterfinals, after ending Pool H play with a 1-2 record, at the USA Volleyball-hosted eighth leg of the 2013 Norceca Beach Circuit, at the US Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista, California. Playing in Pool H, the Toco-born pairing of Blake and Williams swept past Hondurans Luis Coto and Manuel Serrano 21-16, 21-17 but was then beaten by USA-B Nick Lucena and Theo Brunner, 10-21, 14-21 in their second match on Friday, before losing a must-win clash with USA-A duo Tri Bourne and John Hyden 12-21, 7-21. On Friday, Lucena and Brunner beat their compatriots Bourne and Hyden, 21-15, 21-15 and completed pool play with a 21-13, 21-16 defeat of Coton and Serrano to end with a 3-0 record.
In Pool F, Puerto Rico’s Hector Soto and Roberto Rodriguez, runners-up last month in Puerto Rico, defeated Canada’s Michael Plantiga and Cameron Wheelan 21-14, 21-14 and followed up with victory against Marc Anthony Lomeli and Anthony Scott Pippen of US Virgin Islands, 21-12, 21-16. In Pool E, Mexico’s Mario Barrragan Medel and Julio Manrique Espejel won matches over Guatemala’s Julio Anibal and Recinos Ocana 21-19, 21-12 and Cullen Diehl and Austin Pitten of US Virgin Islands 21-9, 21-12, while in Pool G, Canada-A’s Ryan Vandenburg and Andrew Hinchey defeated Costa Ricans Julio Alvarez and Diego Alpizar 21-9, 21-13 and a USA-C duo, 21-16, 22-20 for a 2-0 mark as well at the end of the first day. Pool play was expected to be completed yesterday, following the main draw single elimination up to the semifinals, which takes place today ahead of the finals. Last month in Puerto Rico, Blake and Williams were ninth from 16 teams, while two weeks earlier T&T’s Colin Bernard and Fabien Whitfield had a 0-4 performance in Mexico for 15th spot from 16 teams.
In other tournaments so far this season, Blake and Williams had a best finish of fifth in the third leg at Campo Marte Park, Guatemala City, Guatemala, back in April, while they were 11th out of 16 men’s teams in the opening tournament of the season, in Cayman Islands in March, and seventh of 13 teams in the second leg in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, also in March. In the women’s tourney, four teams went undefeated on the first day of pool play in Puerto Rico; Mexico and Costa Rica all went 2-0 on Friday along with both teams from the USA. In Pool A, Puerto Rico’s Darian Acevedo and Vanessa Velez beat Cayman Islands’ Jessica Wolfenden and Cristin Alexander in straight sets 2-0 (21-17, 21-16). They had a tougher time against the Canada-A team of Claudia Seguin and Brandie Wilkerson before winning 2-1 (24-22, 14-21, 15-8). In Pool C, the Mexico-A team of Martha Ravuelta and Bibiana Candelas won matches against St Kitts & Nevis’ Brenda Allen and Shanicia Dyer 2-0 (21-12, 21-10) and the sisters of Guatemala-B Maria Jose Orellana and Maria Andrea Orellana 2-0 (21-9, 21-13). T&T is not represented in the women’s comeptition after failing to register on time.
However, a week ago in Puerto Rico, the T&T pair of Ayana Dyette and Nancy Joseph secured the eighth spot from 16 teams at the seventh leg, after they were beaten in their main draw quarterfinal by Canada-A’s Kacie Mac Tavish and Caleigh Whitaker 9-21, 10-21. The performance by Dyette and Joseph, who twice ended fourth last year on the circuit, was the best showing by a T&T women’s team so far this year and made amends for the 0-5 record by Elki Phillip and Pauline Woodroffe in Mexico where they ended 12th of 13 teams. Phillip and Apphia Glasgow were also 12th in their first tournament of the season, while La Teisha Joseph and Kinesha Marshall were winless in Guatemala after no T&T women’s team participated in the first two events in Cayman Islands and Dominican Republic. Following the event in California, the next stop on the tour will be St Lucia from October 9 to 14 where T&T’s Joseph/Dyette and Woodroffe/Phillip will all compete along with one of the T&T men’s team. The remainder of the tour for this season will feature stops in Costa Rica (October 30 to November 4) and T&T, from November 13 to 18.