Monday, July 31, 2017
Monday, July 31, 2017

T&T outclass Jamaica to successfully defend crown

KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 31, 2017 - Trinidad and Tobago thoroughly outclassed Jamaica to record an easy 3-0 victory in the final, as they successfully defended their title in the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Women’s Championship here at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Monday night.


The Trinidadians were on top of their game from the get-go and never allowed the hosts to settle as they raced to an uncomplicated 25-12, 25-16, 25-10 sweep.


Nicholson Drakes, Trinidad and Tobago’s head coach, said they did their homework on the Jamaica team.


“I’m satisfied,” he said. “We were doing a lot of future training in preparation for playing Jamaica because we looked at Jamaica as the team we’d be playing in the final. We’re accustomed to playing Suriname so we know their style in volleyball, so we tried different things in that game to see exactly how it would work, we knew exactly what we were going to do against Jamaica.”


As reflected in the scoreline, which stunned the home team and its crowd, the victors dominated in every facet of the game, beginning with the serves.


For the most part, Jamaica’s libero, Cherie Thompson, could not handle the serves, especially those from Sinead Jack, Darlene Ramdin and Krystle Esdelle, whose team at one point in the first set scored 10 unanswered points off serves from Esdelle.


“We utilised most of all our strong points which were they serve, the block, to be able to do the complex part and get the right people to hit the ball, it’s not about just placing the ball to anybody,” Drakes analysed.


He added: “We were expecting more fight though. All the best to Jamaica in the future.”


The fact that the Jamaicans were not returning serve well threw their entire game off platform as they were never able to get the ball comfortably up to the net for the setter to line up the big hitters.


This was the complete opposite for Trinidad and Tobago, as Aleisha Olton gave her team control with well-balanced digs up to the front of the net, where the setter was able to position the ball nicely for their hitters to get some clean, sweet hits.


Krystle and Channon Thompson capitalised most to lead the scoring as Trinidad and Tobago rained down 39 kills in the swiftly earned 75 points. Krystle had 10 kills in 14 points, while Thompson accounted for eight in her 11 points.


Ramdin, with 10 points and Jack, who scored nine, also bombed in their fair share of kills in a one-sided affair.


In fact, many of the points won by Jamaica came off Trinidad and Tobago’s own default as they tallied a relatively high 22 errors in the lightning quick win.


The fact that the error count was marginal, in that Jamaica accumulated 24, made little difference because their inability to take control of the game while receiving serve meant on the vast majority of occasions they could not set up for a spike. When they did, they kills were long deemed ineffective as they had to hit from close to the centre of the court, which enabled Trinidad and Tobago to snuff out the tries with some easy blocks. In total, they registered 24 blocks.


Other important statistics were as lopsided as they score, with Jamaica only registering five points off blocks and nine kills.


Breanna Atkinson, who returned to the final after missing the semis with an injury, registered four kills and Sashalee Thomas got two in woeful scoring numbers. Atkinson led with five points, Tahleia Bishop got four and Thomas three.


“We just didn’t play today, we didn’t turn up to play today. We thought that just doing the minimum would get us by and that doesn’t happen when you’re playing a team that has more experience playing at the higher level and a lot of other things in place to help them to play better, which we don’t have, resources that we don’t have and the association doesn’t have as well,” observed Ricardo Chong, head coach of the Jamaica team.


This tournament also served as the International Volleyball Association (FIVB) Round Two World Championship Qualifier. Trinidad and Tobago were already assured one of the spots, while Jamaica, based on their placing, claimed the other.


Including Trinidad and Tobago, the crucial FIVB Round Three elimination will be hosted by three countries later this year, with each being a four-team tournament. The first will be staged in Canada from September 26-30; Trinidad and Tobago will host the second from October 4-9; while the third will be held in the Dominican Republic from October 11-16.



Six teams – the top two from each group – will advance to the 2018 World Championship, that will run from September 29 to October 20.

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