Martinique attacks cool off Curacao girls in straight sets 

RIVIERE-SALEE, Martinique, December, 8, 2019 - The trio of captain Sarai Bandinos, Oriane Fage and Nancy Louis-Marie all had solid performances as host and former champions Martinique defeated Curacao 3-0 (26-24, 25-11, 25-20) in their Pool A opener of the 2019 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior (Under-20) Women Championship at La Ville Riviere-Salee Palais Des Sport.

Despite the win, Martinique who are hoping to repeat their 2013 triumph on home soil when they beat six-time winners Trinidad and Tobago, the outcome for Curacao could have been so much different had they taken one of the two first sets points on offer when ahead 24-22.

But it was the not the case as the powerful spikes of Bandinos, Fage, and Louis-Marie when called upon lifted Martinique to the unlikely first set win.

And with the backing of a vociferous home crowd, Bandinos and her team-mates stormed their way to an easy second set win before holding off a late fight-back from the visitors to clinch victory in three straight sets.

Following the match, Curacao captain, Githangely St Hillaire was quick to admit that her team-mates were not used to playing at this level of competition and it affected their overall game.

 “We are not used to playing in type of atmosphere and pressure from the crowd, but we did manage to get a chance to put some pressure on Martinique in the first set and we did not manage to do it.

“Winning the first set would have given us a good boost of confidence, but instead it went down because we wasted the chance, so now we have to prepare for the next match.”

Coach Gilbert Paulina added, “The girls were very nervous, and it was expected because they are a young team, so we just have to learn from the mistakes and prepare for the next match.

Bandinos said, “We knew we had pressure on us to get a win playing at home, but we have been preparing for it for a long time and it was a really good performance from us.”

Coach Tania Villeronce said that her team knows that winning a second title at home will be a great achievement.

“We did it once in front of our supporters and would like to do it again. But it won’t be easy so we have to work hard in each game and with the support of the spectators we can do it.”