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‘Calypso Spikers’ hold off ‘Riddim Girlz’
Russia-based Sinead Jack had a stellar attacking night with 19 points, as four-time defending champions T&T overcame its first real test, Jamaica, 25-12, 25-21, 32-34, 25-23, in the Women’s Division of the 15th Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (Cazova) Championship on Thursday night.
This was in their penultimate match in their five-team round-robin series at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo, after which the top two teams will contest tomorrow’s gold medal, and third and fourth play for bronze.
In a match that lasted two hours and ten minutes, both teams had spectators at the edge of their seats, but in the end, the 31st world-ranked, Kelly-Anne Billingy-skippered “Calypso Spikers” got the win to improve with a 3-0 record ahead of their final round-robin meeting with two-time winners Bahamas, which was contested after press time last time.
With the loss, its first, Jamaica fell to 2-1, but, remained second on the five-team table ahead of record six-time winners Barbados (1-1), which it faces in its final match today, while Suriname is 1-2 and Bahamas 0-2. Barbados will have to win by a huge margin to advance to the final.
Credit must go to the Jamaicans, dubbed the “Riddim Girlz,” who, after going down in the first two sets, fought out a marathon third set of exactly one hour against the “Calypso Spikers” with both teams having chances to close out the set, before the visitors finally did, to force a fourth.
Middle-blocker Jack, who started her professional career in Poland, ended with 14 kills and three aces, while France-based Channon Thompson added 16, comprising 11 spikes and five aces and Darlene Ramdin, also based in France, got 13, laced with 12 kills.
Jalicia Ross-Kydd and Marisha Herbert chipped in with nine and eight points, respectively, for the host who outscored Jamaica in spikes, 53-34, and service aces 9-2.
However, the Jamaicans, who were led by Chicago-born captain Simone Asque, scored 13 points, which included ten spikes and one ace, and ten from Renae Temple, surprisingly had the better showing in blocks against the taller T&T women, 13-10, while committing only 35 errors to 41 from the host.
Karenza Beckford and the duo of Tiffany Clarke and USA-based Lecia Brown chipped in with seven, six and six points, respectively, in the loss.
In the first women’s match on the night, overseas-based Shari Matthews was the lone player in double-figures as she fired record six-time winners’ Barbados past Bahamas 25-21, 25-11, 25-19 for their first in two matches.
Yesterday, Suriname beat Barbados 22-25, 25-17, 27-25, 25-19, while T&T was to come up against winless Bahamas in its final round-robin encounter ahead of the final from 6 pm.
Curacao edges Jamaica men in five-sets
Derick Colina led four players in double-figures as Curacao edged Jamaica 23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 20-25, 15-12 in Pool A of the tournament.
It was the third match from as many outings to go the full distance in the pool which was won by defending champion Bahamas with a 2-0 record, while Curacao, (1-1), ended second and Jamaica (0-2) third.
In Friday’s quarter-finals, Curacao was to meet Pool B third-placed finisher Suriname from 4 pm, while Jamaica was to come up against host and 2010 champion T&T, who were second in Pool B behind Barbados, two hours later.
The winners of yesterday’s semi-final will face record ten-time winner Barbados (1992-1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006), Pool B winner and Bahamas, the Pool A victors in today’s semi-finals ahead of the bronze medal and gold medal matches tomorrow.
Colina finished with 17 points, inclusive of 15 kills, while Rachid Isenia got 14, highlighted by five blocks, veteran Gilbert Paulina, 13 (12 kills) and Norandy Bonafasia, 12 in the two hours and 17 minutes contest.
On the other side of the net, Ryck Mc Kenzie-Webb led all scorers with a match-high 21 points which was punctuated by 13 kills, six aces and two blocks, while Jamion Hartley added 15, 14 of which were kills.
Overall, Curacao held a narrow advantage on spikes (48-47) and dominated on blocks 11-7 while Jamaica showed more power on service aces, 7-5 but were guilty of 44 errors to its opponent 42.
Men: Fifth/Sixth playoff, 12 PM
Women: Barbados vs Jamaica, 2 pm
Women: Bahamas vs Suriname, 4 pm
Men: Semi-final, 6 pm
Men: Semi-final, 8 pm
Women: Third-place playoff, 12 pm
Men: Third place playoff, 2 pm
Men: Final, 4 pm
Women: Final, 6 pm