Victory for Haiti

Bajan girls lose opener

Solaida Pierre helped power Haiti to a 3-1 win over hosts Barbados women, who started on a losing note when the 10th Caribbean Junior Volleyball Championships continued at the Wildey Gymnasium last night.

Haiti’s best scorer Solaida Pierre (left) was a force to be reckoned with on the outside.
Haiti’s best scorer Solaida Pierre (left) was a force to be reckoned with on the outside.

Haiti built on their remarkable comeback in the opening set, and despite Barbados bouncing back to win the second, the visitors were still able to come away with the 26-24, 15-25, 25-14, 25-22 victory.

Barbados’ team led by captain Ashley Jordan and comprising Deandra Small, Shonte Seale, Aliyyah Durant, Kayla James, Tiandre Small and libero Janina Mayers, got off to a shaky start.

Their inconsistent play allowed Haiti to take early control of the match, as they rushed out to early 8-5 and 16-11 leads.

But the local ladies fought back to bring themselves into contention, thanks mainly to the efforts of Seale, who blasted two powerful spikes and Jordan and James who denied the visitors with several strong blocks at the net.

After leveling the scores at 16-16, Barbados actually took command of the set, establishing a 23-17 lead much to the delight of the boisterous home fans.

However, they just could not dispatch the determined visitors, who battled back to lock the scores at 23 and then again at 24, before eventually going on to take a 1-0 lead.

Haiti’s Pierre, who scored 18 of her 67 attempts, was a driving force behind that comeback.

The second set was a completely different story, as the home side seized the initiative early on to hold a commanding 16-7 lead at the second technical time out.

There were no heroics from Haiti or Pierre this time around, though, as Barbados maintained their composure this time around to level the showdown at 1-1.

It was anybody’s game in the third set, with both teams trading points early on. But from a close 8-8 scoreline, Haiti’s stingy defense would allow them to establish a 16-11 lead. It was an advantage they would not relinquish on their way to easily winning the set.

The fourth and final set was close right up to the final point, with Barbados needing to save two match points, as they trailed 22-24.

However, an unforced error by Durant, whose serve cannoned into the net, gave the visitors a reason to celebrate.

According to Barbados’ coach Patrick Oxley, passing receptions and “releasing the pressure at the wrong time” were two of the key areas they will have to focus on when they take on Trinidad and Tobago in their second game tomorrow.

“Based on what we have seen playing against Haiti, they were playing in patches and some of those patches came at the wrong time. So as coaches we will go back to the drawing board and make sure we have good patches for longer periods, as consistency will be key for us, especially when we play Trinidad,” Oxley said.

In the other women’s game played yesterday United States Virgin Islands defeated Curacao 25-19, 25-18, 22-25, 25-18, while Martinique overcame Guadeloupe 25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 25-19. Meanwhile among the men, Guadeloupe were successful against Aruba 25-14, 25-20, 20-25, 25-19 and Curacao brushed aside theUnited States Virgin Islands 25-18, 25-16, 25-16.

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