Saturday, July 8, 2017
Saturday, July 8, 2017

Defending Champs poise to retain CAZOVA Championship

COUVA, TRINIDAD, JULY 8, 2017: Host and defending champion Trinidad and Tobago reached its second straight final when they overcame Haiti 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22) in semifinal two of the 16th Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Men’s Championship at the National Cycling Centre.

Coming off of three straight 3-2 round-robin pool wins for an automatic semifinal spot, Trinidad and Tobago, champions in 2010 and 2014 stepped up its game to silence a very determined Haiti squad.

Leading the way for the reigning champions was middle blocker Mikheil Hoyte with 18 points, highlighted by 13 spikes and 5 blocks while Brandon Hoyte added 15, captain Ryan Stewart 13 and Marlon Phillip 10 points all contributing to the victory.

For Haiti, Claude Antoine was the lone player in double figure scoring with 11 points while Jacques-Antoine Frederic added nine, Newsbornson Glezil got eight, and captain Irvens Benjamin, seven in the loss.

Following three nervous wins before their home crowd, it was the best showing in the tournament  by the T&T players to date as they outscored the Haitians on spikes 57-42, blocks 9-3 and service aces 4-2 .

However, Haiti was kept in the key not only by their fighting spirit but with the help of the host country who committed 40 errors to the visitors, 27.

With the win, Trinidad and Tobago set up a finals showdown against Martinique for the 16th CAZOVA title.

T&T’s Ryan Stewart speaking after the win said “our team played very well and he was looking forward to a bigger effort in the final”.

Haiti Captain Benjamin was quick to admit that his team took too long to get into the right frame of mind and had a nervous start in the game. 

Yves Larrieux, Haiti coach indicated that his players were not up to par for the match as their focus was not there, they lack the experience at this level and was not confident.

A Jubilant Sean Morrison, TTO coach said, “the team was now finding its top form and is better focused on getting the job done. The final is a new game against Martinique and we will not take it for granted that we defeated them in the preliminaries. Team Martinique has a good offense so we must stay focused on our game plan in order to retain the title”. He added, “I want to thank the home crowd for their unfailing support”.

Martinique the 2008 champion will face Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday from 4pm in the gold medal match, while Barbados meets Haiti in the bronze medal match on Sunday from 2pm



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