T&T senior women's volleyball team will be seeking to exact some revenge on Canada. Both teams meet in their Group B opener at the 22nd Norceca Women's Continental Championship in Caguas, Puerto Rico, from 5 pm today. The local 12-member squad, skippered by France-based Krystle Esdelle, left here on Friday and included first South East Port-of-Spain's Rechez Lindsay on debut. Esdelle and her teammates, the reigning four-time Caribbean champions, are coming off a tenth-place showing at the 12-team Pan American Cup in Mexico in July where they were beaten by the Canadians, 15-25, 17-25, 17-25 in their seventh to tenth place semifinal and will be keen for redemption.
In addition to Esdelle, there are two other European-based players in the squad in Poland-based 17-year-olds, Channon Thompson and Sinead Jack.Other notable players in the 29th world ranked T&T squad coached by Cuban, Francisco "Panchee" Cruz are vice-captain Kelly-Anne Billingy, Shurvette Beckles, Rheeza Grant, Delana Mitchell and Abigail Gloud. Following today's meeting with the world 20th ranked Canada, which has won two silver and eight bronze medals in the tournament's history, T&T will also meet five-time winner and world second ranked USA two days later.
The Americans have also finished second 11 times and third on three occasions, to be among the tournament favourites and also defeated T&T 25-11, 25-17, 25-18 in their group meeting. Group A comprises 2009 runner-up Puerto Rico (#17), Costa Rica (#22) and two-time champions Mexico (#27) while defending champions, Dominican Republic (#13), 13-time winners Cuba (#8) and Panama (#55) are in Group C
One again, Cuba, which has always finished among the top-three in the 21 previous contests with two second-places and one bronze medal finish will start as tournament favourites. The Dominican Republic, who meet Panama in today's opener from 3 pm also have five bronze medals while Mexico has captured three bronzes. Host Puerto Rico face off against Costa Rica to close out today's matches at 8 pm. The winner of the tournament will earn a ticket to the FIVB World Cup in Japan next November.