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T&T girls going for NORCECA medal today

By Shammi Kowlessar

NANCY JOSEPH and Ayanna Dyette will be flying the flag of host country Trinidad and Tobago in the semifinals of the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tournament, at Mission Beach, Toco, today.

The No.1-ranked pair won twice yesterday to put themselves in contention to give T&T a first-ever NORCECA medal, but the second-ranked pair of Elki Philip and Andrea Davis went out in the quarterfinals.

The top-ranked male tandem of Fabian Whitfield and Daneil Williams lost a heart-breaking quarterfinal match 24-22, 12-21, 18-16 against Gerald Umana and Henry Hernandez of Nicaragua, but still have a chance to reach the semifinals as the men are playing a double elimination format.

The "Toco Boys", who had reached the semis and eventually placed fourth in the previous leg three weeks ago in St Lucia, need to beat the winners of the clash between Julian Biscette and Joseph Clercent of St Lucia and Arubans Mitchell Daniel and Eargenell De Cuba to get a second straight chance at a medal.

The St Lucians and Arubans were deadlocked at set-all when play ended yesterday.

It is the second NORCECA tournament in succession that Dyette has reached the last four as she had placed fourth in the previous leg with Philip.

The former indoor player and six-time national champ Joseph, who had finished fifth in St Lucia, beat Jamie Farley and Laurie Bachler of the United States Virgin Islands 25-14, 22-24, 15-10 in the quarters, after getting past St Lucians Dania Hamilton and Indira Laurencini 21-8, 15-21, 15-9 to win Group D.

Tracylyn Weamer, who won gold in St Lucia with a different partner, and Trealle Hunkus will start favourites against Dyette and Joseph in today's semis.

The other Americans, Summer Ross and Emily Day, the overall tournament favourites who recently won the World University Games, beat Philip and Davis 21-9, 21-10 in the quarters, after the T&T girls had upset a Canadian pair 17-15 in the third to finish second in Group A.

First serve on the final day of the tenth leg of this year's 12-stage series is at nine a.m.

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