SIMON BLAKE and Daneil Williams failed to reach the knockout phase of the eighth leg of the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Circuit last weekend in San Diego, USA.
Needing to beat the United States A team of Tri Bourne and John Hayden on Saturday to finish second in Group H and earn a place in the quarter-finals, the Trinidad and Tobago players went under 21-12, 21-7.
Williams and Blake had defeated Luis Coto and Manuel Serrano of Honduras 21-16, 21-17 the day before, but were beaten by 21-10, 21-14 by Theo Brunner and Nick Lucena, the United States B pair.
Lucena and Brunner also whipped Bourne and Hayden 21-15, 21-15 on Friday, but needed three sets to edge their fellow Americans 21-19, 17-21, 15-13 when they squared off again for the title on Sunday.
Blake and Williams are T&T’s busiest players in this year’s circuit, as they have participated in six of the eight legs.
After they failed to reach the quarters in the opening leg during the third weekend of March in the Cayman Islands, the “Toco Boys” made it last eight the following weekend in Dominican Republic and ended up seventh.
Their best effort came three weeks later when they placed fifth in Guatemala in the third leg, but they struggled with high altitude in Mexico and finished down the field in the following leg in early June. Williams and Blake missed the next two stages and only returned two weeks ago when they placed ninth in Puerto Rico.
T&T is expected to be represented in the ninth leg, which serves off in St Lucia on Friday.
The penultimate leg will take place in Costa Rica next month, and the circuit will conclude the following weekend in Trinidad.
Williams and Fabian Whitfield had secured this country’s only NORCECA medal when they picked up bronze in the Trinidad leg at the end of October last year in Toco.