Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Curacao secures U21 semifinal spot

RIVIERE-SALEE, Martinique, December 11, 2019: Curacao secured a spot in the semifinals of the  2019 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior (Under-21) Men Championship with a disciplined 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-18) victory over US Virgin Islands at the La Ville Riviere-Salee Palais Des Sport.


Champions in 2011 in Jamaica, Curacao now faces 2015 runners-up Trinidad and Tobago in the semifinals on Thursday from 2 pm, while three-time defending champions and five-time winners overall, Barbados come up against the winner of Wednesday’s night second quarterfinal between host Martinique, champions in 1999 in Jamaica, and Guadeloupe, twice time second-placed finishers in 2007 and 2011 from 8 pm.


For Curacao who benefitted from 26 errors by their opponents, captain Joshua Van Henneigen was the main scorer with 17 points while Nigel Albertus and Jaden Nanaldijk added eight, and Ouijair Wever, seven.


US Virgin Islands, on the other hand, Ajani Henley had a team-high 11 points while Owen Goldberg and M’Jaeli Lopez got eight and seven points respectively.


In general, it was a vastly improved display from Curacao who outscored US Virgin Islands, 41-20 on spikes, but were overshadowed on blocks, 11-4 and service aces, 5-4 in the loss.


Speaking after his team’s win Curacao captain Van Henneigen said his team was delighted to be moving on to the final four.


“It’s our first 3-0 win and we feel very proud of ourselves and it’s a good feeling to get to the semifinals and we know we have a tough match to come.


Coach Henrich Daal said his team made full use of the day off to prepare well.


“After the Barbados loss, we had a day to prepare and we were able to work on some things and have good discussions and now we are moving on to the semis.


Isaac Raphael was quick to point out that it was a tough match for his team.


“We didn’t settle, and it has been a struggle for us all week with a lot of in-experienced players, but we are getting better even though we know we have a lot of work to do.”


Jahmai Jones, the USVI captain said his team needs to work harder and have better communication if they are to be contenders going forward.

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