Suriname sizzle in Group B Opener
SANTA CRUZ, Aruba, November 26, 2016: Suriname made a bold statement right off the bat as the CAZOVA Group B qualifying tournament for the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Volleyball Championship served off today.
In the first match of the round-robin competition featuring the two highest rated outfits, the 4th-ranked team in CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association), whipped No. 7 Haiti 25-21, 25-16, 25-20.
The pattern was consistent throughout the 67-minute contest with Suriname gaining a clear advantage, Haiti fighting back and then Suriname pulling away again in all three sets.
The best example came in the second when the eventual winners led 4-0 and 6-1, but the Haitians then closed the gap to 13-12 before managing to win just four of the last 16 points.
Haiti coach, Jean Michel Frederic, believes both teams are evenly matched, but the difference was Suriname’s outside hitter Sandrina Hunsel, pointing out: “the No. 18 was playing at a different level and it was very difficult to adjust against her.” However his captain, Dajhna Blemur, expressed that “the main reason for our defeat was we made too many mistakes.”
Blemur’s opposite number, Cheryl Brunings, stated: “I am very proud of the team. It’s always good to start on a positive note and (we now have) to go with that spirit for the rest of the tournament.” Suriname’s coach, Eric Aikman, was expectedly very complimentary of his players: “We played a very good game, the girls performed well individually, but as a team also. I am very, very satisfied.”
Martinique and host country Aruba are the other teams involved in the two-day tournament and the top two finishers at the conclusion tomorrow night will qualify for the second round in July 2017 in Jamaica.
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.