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T&T girls still alive after first day

By by Shammi Kowlessar

AYANA DYETTE and Nancy Joseph were still in contention to advance to the quarter-finals at the end of the opening day of the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tournament Friday in Guatemala.

However, the Trinidad and Tobago girls needed to beat Mexicans Diana Valdez and Stephanie Burnside yesterday to finish second in Group C and secure a place in the final eight.

Joseph and Dyette were beaten 21-10, 21-9 in their opening match in the round-robin phase of the tournament by group favourites Heather Hughes and Cristal Engle of the United States.

However, this country’s players bounced back later in the day to defeat Barbadians Shari Matthews and Anicia Wood 21-16, 21-19 and remain in contention for a place in the knockout phase.

Valdez and Burnside also beat the Bajans in straight sets and later captured the first set from the Americans before being edged 17-21, 22-20, 15-12.

Drawn in the only male group with three pairs, T&T’s Tarandath Deonath, who played in last year’s World Under-21 Championships, and Tevin Joseph were whipped 21-9, 21-9 by Erick Garrido and Andy Blanco of Guatemala.

The youngsters, preparing for the World Under-23 Championships in July in Cyprus, were then forced to default to Americans Casey Jennings and Jeremy Casebeer because of an injury to Joseph and were eliminated.

Joseph and Deonath, competing only in their second and third NORCECA events, respectively, lost all four matches in their group last weekend when this year’s circuit served off in Cayman Islands.

Dyette and Nancy Joseph, who combined in four events at this level last year, had a victory and two defeats last weekend to end up 11th of the 15 pairs.

The second leg will conclude today and the four T&T players will remain in Guatemala as the third stage will also take place there from Friday.

The 14th and final leg is scheduled for Trinidad at the end of October.  

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