Haiti Stays Alive in Aruba
SANTA CRUZ, Aruba, November 27, 2016: The hosts suffered another major meltdown to squander any chance of advancing as Haiti stayed alive in CAZOVA the Group B qualifying tournament for the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Volleyball Championship.
With significant assistance from their opponents, Haiti defeated Aruba 25-16, 25-18, 26-24 to end the penultimate session of the round-robin competition.
Haiti, the seventh-ranked team in CAZOVA, will have to win again tonight when they oppose Martinique in a do-or-die encounter for a place in second round. Both teams have lost to Suriname in straight sets and have a 1-1 record. Although the Arubans still have a match to play – against Suriname tonight – they have no chance to qualify having suffered a second heart-breaking defeat.
The hosts had failed to close out a 22-15 lead in the pivotal third set against Martinique and went down in four sets the night before. This time it was far worse, as Aruba was leading 15-9 in the first set and managed to get just one of the next 17 points as the visitors drew first blood in unbelievable fashion.
Haiti actually ended up winning an incredible 17 points in a row during the streak, as they took the first four in the second set after the last 13 of the first. The Arubans were able to get back on track late in the set and dominated early in the third before blowing significant leads on three occasions. They lost four straight points from 14-8 and then five in succession from 16-12. But the most hurtful one came at the end when they failed to convert three straight set points from 24-21 and lost the final five points.
“This is another tough loss, because I think my team performed well until the big points. As long as you’re not reaching 25, you have nothing,” said Aruba coach Daan Kleinbussink. Captain Jackie Toussaint pointed out, “we need to compete more outside Aruba so we could get more experience and play at a higher level in the Caribbean; we have potential.”
“We regrouped and we tried to play our best and we won,” was how simply Haiti coach Jean Michael put it, while his captain confessed “the match was stressful because of our loss yesterday, but we were confident.”
With two impressive victories under their belts, the unbeaten Surinamese are certain to claim one of the two places from this tournament into the second round in Jamaica in July 2017.
The next edition of the Women’s World Championship will take place in Japan and this Confederation (NORCECA) will have six qualifiers as well as defending champions United States.