Tuesday, February 20, 2018

T&T girls cruise into NORCECA quarters


WINNERS: Nancy Joseph, right, and Ayana Dyette impressively won their two matches when the third stage served off Friday in Guatemala.

Mark Fraser

AFTER struggling in the first two legs of this year’s NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Tour over the previous two weekends, Nancy Joseph and Ayana Dyette impressively won their two matches when the third stage served off Friday in Guatemala.

The Trinidad and Tobago girls came up against Canadians Victoria Cowley and Kerry Smit  in their final Group C encounter yesterday, but were already assured a place in the quarter-finals later in the day. 

Dyette and Joseph, who had finished 12th in the opening leg in the Cayman Islands and 11th last weekend in Guatemala, began the three-day tournament by beating Barbadians Shari Matthews and Anicia Wood (21-12, 21-19) in straight sets for the second week in succession.

The duo, who combined four times in last year’s NORCECA circuit, later whipped Natalia Giron and Estefanie Bethancourth of Guatemala 21-10, 21-15 to be assured of a place in the knockout draw.

But the misery continued for compatriots Tevin Joseph and Tarandath Deonath as they lost  twice in straight sets and would not have advanced to the knockout stage of the tournament even if they defeated Guatemalans Erik Flores and Mark Alvarez in their final Group B contest yesterday.

The youngsters, who began this year’s circuit with just one previous NORCECA tournament between them, went under 21-11, 21-13 against powerful Puerto Ricans Roberto Rodriguez and Eric Haddock and 21-14, 21-11 against Carlos Escobar and David Vargas of El Salvador.

Tevin Joseph and Deonath are preparing for the World Under-23 Championships in Cyprus in July and they were only selected for the first three legs after the top two pairs were unavailable. They are yet to win a match.

The tournament ends today and the players are expected to return home tomorrow after being out of the country for three weeks.

The fourth and fifth stages will be contested back-to-back in Mexico from the last weekend of the month. There are 14 legs this year and the final event is scheduled for Trinidad in the middle of November.