Oxley lifts Barbados past Curacao to start beaver-trick bid
RIVIERE-SALEE, Martinique, December 8, 2019 - Team captain
and Outside Hitter, Akeel Oxley led from the front as
three-time reigning champions and five-time winners Barbados
made a winning start to their campaign at the 2019 Caribbean
Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior (Under-21) Men
Playing in the opening match of the six-team competition and
in Group C, Barbados came away with a 3-1 (25-21, 21-25,
25-17, 25-15) defeat of a feisty Curacao at the La Ville
Riviere-Salee Palais Des Sport in one hour and 31 minutes.
The contest was as close as the scoreline suggested as
Barbados, previous champions in the inaugural competition in
1997 followed by 2005, 2013, 2015 and the last time it was
held in 2017/18 season had to claw their way back from 4-8
and 15-18 deficits in the opening set, and 4-8 again in the
fourth set before earning the win with Oxley being well
supported by Raje Alleyne, to the relief of long-serving
coach John Stuart.
Speaking after the entertaining contest which despite
serving off 15 minutes late satisfied the appetite of the
small crowd for what is expected to be a week of exciting
volleyball, Stuart said he was very happy for his team to
get the win against a good team.
“We played against a very consistent opponent and even
though we were not at our best level, we are delighted to
get the win.
“The level of the match between both teams was very high
and now we are looking at improving for our next match.
Oxley, the son of current Barbados junior women's coach,
Patrickp Oxley said he too was delighted for the victory.
“Being the reigning “Most Valuable Player” it was important
for me to come out and lead my team from the front, and we
are just glad for the win against a very strong opponent”,
stated the younger Oxley.
Joshua Van Henneigen, the captain of Curacao said his team
did not make full use of the chances presented to them due
to a lack of confidence.
“Even though we were facing a tough opponent we started well
and then we wasted a lead and our confidence level dropped.”
Coach Henrich Daal added, “It’s not a shame to be beaten by
the champions in your first match. We now see what level we
have to be at to be the champions and we have a chance to
come back in the next match with better preparation”