Friday, February 23, 2018

T&T fail to qualify for ‘Worlds’

…but get another chance in two weeks

TRINIDAD and Tobago started the day just three sets away from the Women’s Volleyball Championships. But the task was close to impossible as the five-time Caribbean champions were attempting to defeat Cuba for the very first time. And the clash was taking place in their opponent’s backyard just one day after the regional powerhouses had beaten them in straight sets to top Group Q in the third round of NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) qualifying.

The Cubans triumphed again, 25-18, 25-20, 25-13 in 68 minutes, a minute less than it had taken them to prevail the day before, to secure a place in the World Championships. However T&T will still get an invitation to compete in Italy from September 23 if they win the fourth and final round of qualifying at home from June 2-9.

The runners-up of all five groups involved in regional third round qualifying tournaments will compete and the champion team will earn the fifth and final NORCECA place for “Worlds.” Before their two losses against the Cubans, who did not drop a set from their four matches, T&T had scored four-set victories over Haiti and Curacao in their other matches in the group.

Haiti lost their final group match in four sets to Curacao on Friday to finish without a point, but bounced back the day after to gain revenge and the bronze medal 25-22, 25-22, 19-25, 18-25, 15-11.

This country’s men surrendered any hope of qualifying for the World Championships—in Poland from August 20-September 21—when they lost their second straight match in Group Q in Canada on Saturday. No team from the English-speaking Caribbean has ever qualified for the World Championships.