Barbados sweeps T&T in Junior Women opener


RIVIERE-SALEE, Martinique, December 8, 2019 - Barbados served off their quest for a maiden title in Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior (Under-20) Women Championship with a straight-sets win over long-time rivals and six-time winners, Trinidad and Tobago.


Competing in their three-team Pool B curtain-raiser, Barbados, runners-up inn1997, 1999 and 2015, the last time the competition was held overcame Trinidad and Tobago 25-21, 25-18, 25-17 La Ville Riviere-Salee Palais Des Sport.


However, the outcome of the contest could have been very different had Trinidad and Tobago, taken their chances at 21-20 ahead in the opening set after clawing their way back from a 0-5 start to level the match at 14-14, only for Outside Hitter Jada Crawford to suffer a twisted left ankle with the former winners behind 15-16.


The second set also had the spectators on the edge of their seats with Barbados storming into an 8-0 advantage only for Trinidad and Tobago to win the next eight points to level the clash at 8-all.


The Barbadians then went on another run and won six of the next eight points for a 14-10 cushion, before Trinidad and Tobago pulled within a point at 18-17.


But just like in the opening set, Barbados showed a better level of calmness and committed fewer errors which called upon to do so for a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five sets match.


The third set was close up until 4-3 after which the Barbadians applied full control before some solid defence and potent spiking to clinch a critical win towards securing automatic semifinal qualification from the pool.


Commenting on the win, Barbados coach Patrick Oxley said his team preparations for the competition played a key role in their win.


“We concentrated on a lot of game time situations playing as a team and focusing on transitioning defence to offense and vice-versa and today we showcased that.


Team captain, Teneille Chapman-Goodluck was first quick to admit her team was very nervous at the start.


“We had a few words from their coach was able to get them settled and work on their small targets which eventually led to the win.


Nicholson Drakes, coach of the Trinidad and Tobago team said his team was able to see how far they have come along in terms of their development and transition from the Youth Championship in Jamaica earlier in the year, and a lot of work still has to be done.


T&T captain, Kiune Fletcher who had a very low-key match by her standards said her team was very confused to start with.


“It was our first match at this level and while we did manage to get some aspects of the game right, we were guilty of making too many unforced errors which I believed was key to their win.


“We also need to work on our service reception and attacks going forward.”