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Calypso Spikers finish 11th
Turkey-based Krystle Esdelle scored a tournament-high 25 points which helped T&T record a 26-24, 25-18 and 25-16 win over Costa Rica in the Play-off for 11th and 12th spots at the Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup Tournament, Ricardo Arias Pavilion in the Dominican Republic yesterday.
The outcome for the Renele Forde-led T&T women’s team could have been a different one after falling behind 20-24 in the opening set mainly because of many unforced errors. However, captain Esdelle rallied her team to take the next points and secure the set win, which seems to deflate the Central Americans.
The second set again belonged to Esdelle as she spiked ten kills to help T&T overcome its errors while Jalicia Ross-Kydd and Channon Thompson also came to life and helped the team win the second set.
The third set was all T&T as even without the rested Sinead Jack, the reigning eight-time Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) champions dominated and raced into an 8-1 lead before completing what in the end turned out to be a comfortable win.
Esdelle’s tally included 20 spikes, two blocks and three service aces, while Thompson, who divided her 2018 club season between Turkey and Philippines got 12, laced with eight kills and four aces.
The Sweden-based Forde added seven points, Ross-Kydd, six and Darlene Ramdin, also based in the Philippines, chipped in with five for the winners who completely dominated on spikes 43-23, and aces, 10-3.
However, without the presence of Jack, Costa Rica edged T&T on blocks, 10-7 and also had fewer errors 16-22.
Tannia Carazo had a team-best nine points for the Central Americans, Yolianna Gonzalez, seven, and the pair of Johanna Gamboa and Valeria Madriz, five each.
Last year in Peru, the T&T women had a best-ever finish of ninth while in 2016, the Calypso Spikers ended in the tenth spot, which equalled equal their finishes from 2009-2013 while they ended 12th on debut in 2007 as well as 2008 and 11th in 2014.
In yesterday’s other matches, Argentina came up against Mexico for the ninth spot while in the main draw semifinals, Brazil met the Dominican Republic, and defending champions the USA, battled Canada.
On Thursday night in the fifth to eight semifinals, Colombia defeated Cuba 25-20, 25-21, 25-17 and Puerto Rico beat Peru, 25-20, 25-16, 25-20.
Apart from the final (6 pm), and third place (4 pm) playoff matches today, Colombia and Puerto Rico will meet in an all-important clash from 2 pm with a ticket to the Pan Americans Games in Lima, Peru, next year, at stake to the victor as a top-five finisher.
Peru and Cuba will get the day’s action going with the seventh-place match from 12 noon.
This was the third tournament of the year for the Calypso Spikers after a fourth-place finish at the NORCECA Women’s Challenger Cup in Edmonton, Alberta in northwestern Canada in May and a successful defence of their CAZOVA crown for a seventh straight time earlier this month in Paramaribo, Suriname.
Forde and her team-mates will have little rest as they are set to head to Barranquilla, Colombia next week to compete at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games from July 20 to August 3 versus host Colombia, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica in Pool B.
Champions Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela will compete in Pool A.
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