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T&T girls fail to reach NORCECA quarters

By Shammi Kowlessar

AYANA DYETTE and Nancy Joseph failed to advance to the knockout phase when the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tournament continued Saturday in Guatemala.
Needing to defeat Mexicans Diana Valdez and Stephanie Burnside to finish second in Group C and secure a place in the quarterfinals, the Trinidad and Tobago girls went down 21-17, 21-14.
Joseph and Dyette, who ended up third in the group, lost to Americans Heather Hughes and Cristal Engle but beat Barbadians Shari Matthews and Anicia Wood when the tournament served off the day before.
After getting past the T&T girls, Burnside and Valdez were whipped 21-12, 21-14 for a place in the semi-finals by Karen Cope and Natalia Alfaro of Costa Rica.
However, Hughes and Engle crushed Marie Jose and Maria Andrea Orellana of Guatemala 21-9, 21-9 to book their place in the last four. Fellow Americans Tealle Hunkus and Kimberly Dicello and Cubans Lianma Flores and Leila Martinez completed the list for yesterday’s semi-finals.
Both Americans pairs and a duo from Cuba also advanced to the men’s semis, along with Puerto Ricans Roberto Rodriguez and Erik Haddock.
T&T Tevin Joseph and Tarandath Deonath were eliminated since Friday when they lost to a pair from Guatemala and were then forced to default against eventual semi-finalists Casey Jennings and Jeremy Casebeer of the United States because of an injury to Joseph.
The inexperienced youngsters, preparing for the World Under-23 Championships in Cyprus in July, had also failed to win a match in their first event together when the 2014 NORCECA Tour served off the weekend before in Cayman Islands.
Dyette and Nancy Joseph, who combined four times at this level last year, won once from their three matches in the first leg and ended up 11th of the 15 pairs.
The third leg will also be taking place in Guatemala and the four T&T players will remain there for the event, which gets going on Friday.
The 14th and final stage is scheduled for Trinidad in the middle of November.
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