CHANNON THOMPSON scored the most points for the tournament to date as Trinidad and Tobago whipped Suriname to remain on track to capture a fifth consecutive title when the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CASOVA) Championships continued Tuesday night at Jean Pierre Complex, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.
After getting the better of a dog-fight in first set, the overwhelming tournament favourites started to take advantage of their height and class advantage and pulled away to prevail 27-25, 25-18, 25-8.
Thompson, who was the game’s leading scorer with 14 points when T&T dismissed six-time champs Barbados in straight sets the night before, contributed 18 points on this occasion.
It was one point more than the previous tournament record which was shared by three players. Two of them, Keven Sporkslede of Suriname, and Shawn Simpson, a six-time Barbados national squash champ, had scored 17 points each in the match just before when the Bajans prevailed 25-12, 25-18, 26-28, 25-15 in Group B of men’s action. And in the first match of this group the night before, Simon Blake had also scored 17 points in T&T’s four-set triumph over Suriname.
Nine-time champs Barbados and 2010 champs T&T clashed after press time last night and the winner will move straight into Saturday’s semi-finals, along with the top Group A team. The other two teams in the groups will have to come back tomorrow to play quarterfinals. After saving a match point to nose out Curacao 19-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 16-14 in over two hours on Tuesday night, defending champs Bahamas came up against Jamaica in Group A last night.
Thompson was on fire as she slammed down 15 kills in her 18 points during last night’s 84-minute contest. Fellow France-based player Darlene Ramdin and Sinead Jack, also based in Europe, chipped in with ten and nine points, respectively. Sandrina Hunsel led the way for Suriname with 11 points.
The five women’s teams in the tournament are involved in a straight round-robin event and the top two will contest the gold-medal match on Sunday at 6 p.m., two hours after the men’s final.
Both champion teams will qualify for the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Continental Championships and the Pan American Cup next year.
After being on a bye last night, T&T women will return to action at 8 p.m. today against Jamaica and conclude their round-robin schedule at the same time tomorrow against Bahamas. Today’s action will get going with the men of Jamaica and Curacao squaring off at 4 p.m. in Group A.
Two hours later the women of Bahamas and Barbados will do battle. The tournament was previously held here in 1993 and 2002 and the men and women of Barbados swept the titles both occasions.