Martinique Beats Host in Four
SANTA CRUZ, Aruba, November 26, 2016: Martinique defeated Aruba in a four-set encounter to bring down the curtain on the double header on the opening night of the CAZOVA Group B qualifying tournament for the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Volleyball.
The visitors prevailed 25-19, 20-25, 26-24, 25-18, in a match which turned around dramatically in the latter stages of the third set. After being well on their way to a 2-1 lead, being up 22-15, the Arubans lost six points in a row, and then after winning two straight to bring up three set points, they surrendered the last five to the horror and disbelief of the home fans.
It actually turned out to be nine unanswered as Martinique, ranked two places behind Aruba at No. 12 in CAZOVA, then won the first four points in the fourth set. Although the hosts gradually started to recover, the hangover had continued to 8-2 and the deficit was too much to overcome before the finish line came.
Aruba's coach, Daan Kleinbussink, could not believe his team squandered such a significant lead and chalked it down to nerves. “We did ourselves short, there was a game to be won today,” he said. Captain Jackie Toussaint was looking ahead when she stated “we have to go back and talk about what we did wrong so that we could come back hard against Haiti and Suriname tomorrow.”
Despite being triumphant, Martinique's coach, Rene Melinard, stated, “I think we can do better” and his captain, Soraya Yazza, agreed and pointed out that they would have to improve to beat “Suriname and Haiti tomorrow because they are stronger teams.”
The other countries involved in the round-robin tournament are Haiti and Suriname and the top two finishers at the end of tomorrow’s four matches will advance to the second round in Jamaica in late July.
The fourth-ranked Suriname beat No. 7 Haiti in straight sets in the first match of the double header. 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.