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Stapleton, Phillip lead from the front

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Andriy Stapleton of Barbados and T&T’s Marlon Phillip showed their leadership qualities as they led their respective teams to contrasting wins on the opening day of competition in the 2013 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Boys Youth (Under-18) Championship at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Tacarigua.


In the tournament’s opener, Stapleton, a key member of the Barbados team which won the Under-20 crown in Guadeloupe a few months ago tallied 14 points, inclusive of nine kills and five service aces in his team’s 25-10, 25-14, 25-18 victory over Jamaica on Thursday night.


Carlos Cyrus chipped in with nine points (five kills, three aces and one block) while Adam Niles added six and Ahkeem Mayers, four.


Overall it was a dominant showing by the John Stuart-coached Barbadians who outscored their opponents on spikes 22-8, and aces 18-3 while having a less of an impact on blocks, 2-5 in the 61 minute contest.


Jamaica, meanwhile got seven points from its captain, Nanjing Youth Olympic Games beach volleyball qualifier, Rojey Hutchinson while Shamar Daye and Mark Blake added three apiece.


The Jamaicans who looked very nervous in their first outing, were also undone by their errors, 33 to Barbados’ 26.


T&T’s Phillip took a page out of the books of the Barbadian captain as he registered an astonishing 36 points, boosted by 32 kills and four aces to rally his team to a come-from-behind triumph over defending champions, US Virgin Islands, 21-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-18, 15-12 in one hour, 58 minutes yesterday morning (due to late arrival of USVI team).


Nathaniel Noreiga was the other main contributor for T&T with eight points while Cameron Cordner got four aces as the host made full use of USVI’s 57 errors while committing 49 of their own.


USVI, meanwhile, was led by Senyah Benjamin’ 12 points and five from De-Andre Simmons.


On Thursday, captain Reann Young was the lone player in double-figure scoring as two-time defending champions T&T overcame a below-par showing to beat debutants Bahamas in their opening match in the Girls Youth (Under-18) Championship.


Playing before their home crowd, the Calypso Spikers were expected to come away easy winners and coasted to a comfortable 25-14, 25-16, 25-21 victory in 61 minutes.


For T&T, Young one of five players in the squad who were part of the silver medal winning team at the Under-20 Championships in Martinique had a match-high 13 points, comprised of 11 spikes while Kaylon Cruickshank, another Under-20 team member, Amber Commissiong and Sarah Low all got eight points each.


But despite the win, T&T coach Macsood Ali may not have been a happy man as his team committed too many errors, 33 to the Bahamians 34, while it dominated on spikes and aces, 21-6 and 18-8, respectively.


On the other hand, Serena Brown top scored for Bahamas with seven points while the trio of Robyn Porter, Alexandria Pinder and Alice Roberts got two each.


Also yesterday, Barbados defeated Bahamas, 26-24, 25-20, 25-15 in the girl division.


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