Hat-trick for T&T girls

Boys beaten by Bajans for CASOVA gold

TRINIDAD and Tobago’s girls completed a hat-trick when the CASOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association) Youth Championships ended last night at Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Tacarigua.
The very night after losing the last match of the round-robin phase of the tournament to the Barbadians, the hosts bounced back to gain sweet revenge 25-14, 24-26, 25-19 in 106 minutes for the gold medal.
The two teams had also battled through four sets the night before when the visitors went on to prevail 25-22, 26-24, 19-25, 25-17 in just over 100 minutes.
Last night, the T&T girls also took some revenge for their male counterparts, who were whipped by the Bajans in the boys’ equivalent final a couple hours earlier.
After losing in just 63 minutes when the two teams battled in their final round-robin encounter the day before, the hosts turned in a slightly improved performance but were still not able to win a set as they went under 25-20, 25-14, 25-15 in 77 minutes.
Despite the defeat, Marlon Phillip, who represented the country in the Youth Olympic beach volleyball qualifying tournament at Maracas Bay last week and still has a chance to make it to Nanjing, China, in August, was the game’s leading scorer yet again.
The skipper, who had scored an incredible 36 and 47 points, respectively, when T&T came from two sets down to defeat both the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and Jamaica, respectively, in the round-robin phase, notched 18 points after being rested for a significant portion of Saturday’s clash.
Andriy Stapleton led the way with 16 points for the Bajans, who have won two of the four editions of this under-19 tournament.
This silver medal is the best-ever showing by this country’s players, who had placed fourth last year after picking up bronze the previous two times.
This was only the third edition of the girls’ under-18 tournament and this country has captured the gold medal on all three occasions. They had also won the inaugural edition at home in 2007 and made it two last year in St Croix.
The USVI won the boys’ under-19 title last year, but finished last of four teams this time after losing the bronze medal match in five sets to Jamaica yesterday morning.
There was no girls’ bronze medal match as there were only three countries involved. Bahamas lost in straight sets to both Barbados and T&T in the round-robin phase of the four-day tournament.
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