TRINIDAD and Tobago made an inauspicious return to the 2013 NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Circuit last weekend in Mexico.
Both pairs finished one-from-last in the sixth stage of the 11-leg circuit after this country had not been represented in the previous leg three weeks earlier in Cuba.
Pauline Woodroffe and Nancy Joseph had finished ahead of just one pair in the tournament in Mexico during the second weekend in June. And the result was very similar for Woodroffe and Elki Philip on this occasion as they placed just ahead of the pair from Honduras, in 12th.
The T&T girls were beaten by pairs from Canada, Mexico and the United States on Friday and also failed to win a set when they opposed the Costa Rican pair in their final Group A game on Saturday.
And in the playoff series involving four teams battling for ninth place later in the day, Philip, who had also finished down the field in the third leg in Guatemala in April, and Woodroffe lost to another Mexican pair in straight sets.
T&T’s Colin Bernard and Fabian Whitfield, making their seasonal NORCECA debut, were beaten in straight sets by two Mexican pairs on Friday.
And after defaulting their final Group D encounter to an American pair the day after, they were beaten in straight sets by a Costa Rican pair in the playoff for positions and ended up 15th of 16.
Whitfield, who combined with Daneil Williams to secure this country’s only NORCECA medal when they notched bronze in Trinidad last October, was unavailable for the first half of the season because of studies.
Bernard’s best effort in this league was when he paired with Simon Blake to finish fifth in the St Lucia leg of last year’s circuit, in October.
Mexican pairs defeated Canadians for both gold medals on Sunday. Martha Revuelta and Bibi Candelas halted Melissa Humana and Taylor Pishcke 23-21, 21-18 in the women’s final, while Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros edged Grant O’Gorman and Sam Pedlow for the men’s crown.
The seventh leg will serve off on Friday in Puerto Rico, and Blake, Williams, Joseph and Ayana Dyette are scheduled to leave today to fly the Red, White and Black.
Williams and Blake competed in the first four legs, but Dyette, who placed fourth in two stages last year, is making her first appearance this year. It will be the second tournament this year for Joseph as she had played in Mexico in June.
The year’s circuit is scheduled to conclude in Trinidad in mid-November.