Friday, February 23, 2018

T&T players looking to improve


MIXED RESULTS: Ayanna Dyette

Mark Fraser

TRINIDAD and Tobago’s players will be looking for improvement when the second leg of the 2014 NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tour serves off today in Guatemala.

In the opening stage last weekend in the Cayman Islands, Ayana Dyette and Nancy Joseph impressively won their first match in straight sets, but went on to lose their other two fixtures and failed to reach the quarter-finals.

Tevin Joseph and Tarandath Deonath lost their first three matches in the round-robin group stage, but had an encouraging finish to the tournament when they came within two points of beating their final opponents and eventually lost in three sets.

These youngsters are preparing for the World Under-23 Championships in Cyprus in July. 

Deonath, who played in the World Under-21 Championships last year, had only competed in one NORCECA event before last weekend, and his partner was making his debut.

On the other hand, the girls are veterans and Joseph, who came close to a medal four years ago when she placed fourth in the second leg in the Dominican Republic, is in fact the most experienced beach volleyballer in the country.

She and Dyette, who were fourth at home when they collaborated for the first time in October 2012, combined in four legs last year and were able to reach as high as the quarters once.

Americans Tealle Hunkus and Kimberly McGiven captured the women’s gold medal in Cayman Islands and are the favourites for the title.

There are 16 female and 17 male pairs in the tournament, hailing from 14 countries—Aruba, Barbados, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras,  Mexico,  Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, T&T, United States, Guatemala—in the three-day tournament.

The third leg will take place next weekend in the same country and T&T will be represented by the same four players.

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