The TT Boys (Under 19) and Girls (Under 18)Volleyball teams recorded contrasting defeats on the second day of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Championships, yesterday, at the GC Foster College, St Catherine, Jamaica.
The young ladies squandered three match points and a two-set lead to eventually lose (3-2) to Guadeloupe in their first match of the tournament, while the male team were ousted 3-0 (25:19, 25:15, 25:15) against Suriname making it two defeats of the campaign thus far.
The TT female team were superior in skills and better all-round players but the Guadeloupians were smaller in physique but are technically gifted, patient and well-organised which proved to be the deciding factor in the end.
The first set was close, at the early exchanges, until TT took a 13- 8 lead which forced a time-out by Guadeloupe’s coach that worked in their favour, bringing them back within one point at 14-13. With the game evenly poised at 17-17, Jayda Crawford won four consecutive points off her powerful serves to pull away at 21-17 but Guadeloupe weren’t giving up as they sneaked their way back to tie the game at 24-24. TT’s Shanice Cottoy served an ace to give her team a hard-fought 26-24 first set victory.
TT started the second set more purposely with a better defensive structure that helped them to an early 8-3 lead which quickly grew to 13-6. The junior “Calypso Spikers” maintained their lead to eventually win 25-20 for a two-nil set lead.
The pattern of the third set was no different to the previous two sets and with the game in the balance at ten points apiece, TT went on a 8-1 run to lead 18-11.
However, once again the “Gwada” team found a way to make things interesting by bringing themselves within one point of the twin-island team 19-20. Then, TT squandered three match points at 24-21 to eventually lose 27-25 forcing the game into a fourth set.
The momentum of the game shifted to the French counterparts who became the more dominant team in the match as they grinded out a 25-22 set victory sending the game into a deciding fifth set.
The last set was on a knife-edge with both teams matching one another with points but Guadeloupe held their nerves in the end to win the all important last set 15-13.
The TT boys, who are hoping to win their first match since 2015, came up against a spirited Suriname team.
Suriname were clinical in their offence – well-stuctured and strong defensively. They seemed to have retrieved almost every spike against them from the “TTO Boys”.
TT’s coach Peer Nasseir, tried a variety of rotations of players in attempt to get the right combination but they simply lacked team cohesiveness and communication resulting in them being defeated comprehensively 3-nil by the Dutch Caribbean team.