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Roberts lauds women’s effort
The Honorable Anil Roberts, Minister of Sport, recognises the tremendous effort of the T&T national women’s senior volleyball team to create history by becoming the first team from this country to participate at an FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) World Championships.
The team, dubbed the “Calypso Spikers”, fell just short of that dream last evening, falling to Mexico (14–25, 29–31, 17–25) in their North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Women’s Playoff decider of the five-time tournament at the University of the West Indies Sports and Physical Educational Centre, St Augustine on Sunday night.
Had they won, T&T would have booked their place at the Championships, carded for Italy from September 23 to October 12.
Commenting on the heart-breaking loss, Minister Roberts said, “I commiserate with the team and coaches at this time. I know how difficult it is to come so close and not achieve your goal. The second set against Mexico in particular, which went to 31 points, showed the heart and fight of this young but experienced team. The women were exemplary in shutting out Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica in three straight sets but couldn’t carry that momentum in the most important game against Mexico.
“I want every member of this team, largely comprised of athletes who play professionally in Europe, to feel proud of the way they represented T&T and find the determination to regroup and come back stronger for the regional tournaments ahead. I also commend the T&T Volleyball Federation for setting the platform for our women to play before a home crowd by hosting the qualification tournament.”
The national senior team, coached by Nicholson Drakes, will defend their Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association crown, which it has won for the past five editions, next month on home soil at the same UWI venue followed by their participation at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games to be staged in Mexico in early November. (See pages A51 and A60 for more volleyball news)