Perennial champions Barbados kept in the hunt to add to their ten regional senior men titles when they turned back hosts US Virgin Islands in four-sets in the second and final quarterfinal at the 14th Senior Men’s Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) being played at the Ronald “Ranchee” Charles Gymnasium, Central High School, Kingshill, St Croix, last night.
With the 25-15, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21 win in one hour, 50 minutes, Barbados which last won the tournament in 2006 and were beaten finalists at home two years later, set up a semi-final clash with unbeaten Bahamas tonight at 9 p.m.
Defending champions Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica faced off in the first semi-final, earlier tonight. The defending champs defeated Jamaica in the Pool A round-robin game in five-sets earlier in the week.
Both Trinidad and Tobago and Bahamas qualified for the last-four automatically after topping Group A and Group B with 3-0 and 2-0 records respectively.
For Barbados Shawn Simpson had 15 points, Akeem Payne added 13, Fabian Cox got 12 and Daran Gill, eight, while USVI captain Alvaro Delugo led all scorers with 16. Overall Barbados were a dominant force and held a 12-7 and 6-1 edge on blocks and service aces. Delugo speaking after the loss stated his team lacked focus which was a major reason it did not
execute the game plan. ”We also took too long to adapt to what our opponents were doing, but overall it was a good match and good luck to Barbados.” competitive match
Jamaal Nedd, captain of the Barbados team which began the tournament 0-2 and has now won its last two matches, said it was a very competitive match for his team and a win which he was pleased about, especially going into the semi-final.
Barbados coach Ludger Niles said he was happy his team continued to show improvement in each match.
”We started well but then in the second set we made a big error with regards to our set-up and was penalised our points, but the guys showed tremendous character to come back and only lose by three points and that fighting spirit goes well for the team as we go into the semi- finals, he said, adding Barbados had not been involved in any easy matches.
Tomorrow is the final day of competition.