FOR the sixth year in succession, the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Tour will serve off in the Cayman Islands. The first of 14 tournaments in this year’s circuit will be contested from today until Sunday and Trinidad and Tobago will be represented by two pairs.
Seasoned campaigners Ayana Dyette and Nancy Joseph are among 16 female pairs, while the list of 15 male pairs includes in the inexperienced Tevin Joseph and Tarandath Deonath. These youngsters will be flying the red, white and black flag in the World Under-21 Beach Volleyball Championships in Crypus in July.
Deonath, who played alongside Brandon Legall in “Worlds” last year, has one NORCECA event under his belt, but Tevin will be making his debut at this level. Nancy and Dyette were the busiest T&T females on the NORCECA tour last year, competing in five and four events, repectively. They have both just missed the podium twice. Dyette and Nancy finished fouth when they combined for the very time at home at the end of October 2102.
Two weeks before in St Lucia, Dyette had occuped the same position alongside Elki Philip, who had teamed with Nancy to finish fourth in Dominican Republic four years ago. T&T’s only NORCECA medal came courtesy Fabian Whitfield and Daneil Williams, who picked up bronze in Toco in October 2012.
Puerto Ricans Roberto Rodriguez and Eric Haddock will be attempting to win the opening leg for the third year in succession. Players from 14 countries-- Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, St Kitts & Nevis; St Lucia, T&T, United States, Cayman Islands --are competing.
The male and female pairs will be placed in four round-robin groups and the top two from each group will advance to the knockout quarterfinals. When this tournament concludes on Sunday, the T&T quartet will travel to Guatemala for the next two legs, which will take place over the following two weekends. The players will return home on May 12. The 14th and final leg of the circuit is billed to take place in Trinidad at the end of October. —SK