First time champions to be crowned in Pointe Du Marin

POINTE-DU-MARIN, Martinique, October 25, 2018 - When the sixth and final leg of the 2018 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit serves off at the scenic Pointe-Du-Marin, 13 men’s teams will be seeking to capture a first ever tour title.

This after the winners of the previous five-legs in Mexico (two), Cuba and Dominican Republic (two), all opted against participating in the three-day event which is being hosted by the Martinique Volleyball Federation for the first time in history. Martnique has strong support of key sponsors from BMW, French Sports Ministry, Haagen-Daz, track athlete Vaillant Ludvy, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

When the season began back in April in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Canada’s Aaron Nusbaum and Michael Plantinga took the gold medal. However, a week later in La Paz, Mexicans, Josue Gaxiola and Jose Angel Cardenas who were third in the first leg elevated to the top spot. It was then the turn of USA’s Chase Frishman and James Drost to climb to the top of the medal podium in the third leg in Varadero, Cuba before Cubans, Karell Pena and Luis Reyes dominated in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Two weeks ago, Gaxiola and Rubio returned to winning ways in the fifth leg in Boca Chica, but with a chance to end with three titles for the season the Mexicans have opted not to participate.

This leaves the door in the 13-team event open for top ranked El Salvadoreans Carlos Escobar and Davis Vargas and second ranked Trinidad and Tobago’s Daneil Williams and Daynte Stewart to seek unheralded glory at the NORCECA level.

Both USA and Canada are being represented by developmental teams at this final leg, but knowing there competitive nature, it will be unwise for any team to underestimate their title ambitions as well.

The 13 teams have been divided into four pools, with three groups of three teams and one group of four. At the end of the round-robin phase the top two teams in each pool will advance to the main draw quarterfinals and continue onwards for a chance at the gold medal, while the other team will compete for positions ninth to 13th.

With a main focus of qualifying both men and women teams to the 2020 Olympic Games Beach Volleyball, the T&T Beach Vollleyball is benefiting from the experience of former top Brazilian women’s volleyballer now coach Ms. Jackie Silva. In 1996 at the Atlanta Olympic Games, Silva formed a lethal partnership with Sandra Pires to claim the first gold medal on offer in the sport at the Olympics and former T&TVF President and head of the Control and Technical Committee for the event in Martinique, Daymian Stewart urged the players to take the chance to tap into her vast knowledge in the sport.

Stewart also pointed out to all teams that the competition is very important as it will help with ranking points with regards to qualification for Pan Am Games and Olympics.  

“USA and Canada are being represented by their developmental teams as their top duos are competing on the FIVB Circuit, whereas Cuba and Costa Rica top teams are also absent, so this is very big chance for T&T to pick up valuable points,” he responded when the question was posed to Stewart.