DANEIL WILLIAMS and Fabian Whitfield were eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the ninth leg of the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Circuit, in St Lucia on Saturday.
Playing together for the first time this season, the Trinidad and Tobago players were beaten 24-22, 21-11 by eventual runners-up Andrew Hinchey and Ryan Vandenburg of Canada in their battle for a place in the semi-finals.
Whitfield and Williams had assured themselves a place in the quarters by winning their two matches on Friday, but they had to settle for second place in Group D when they lost 21-14, 21-18 to Americans John Hayden and Tri Bourne.
T&T were represented by two female pairs, and Ayana Dyette and Nancy Joseph began action on Saturday with a chance to reach the knock-out phase after winning one of their two matches the day before.
But the girls, who reached the quarters and placed eighth in the seventh leg in Puerto Rico late last month, came up against the No. 2 seeds in their final Group B encounter and went under 21-17, 21-13 against Canadians Claudia Seguin and Brandie Wilkerson.
Later, in their first match in the ninth place play-offs, Joseph and Dyette whipped St Lucians Jamilla Lansiquot and Kerin Neptune 21-17, 21-13.
Pauline Woodroffe and Elki Philip, who along with Joseph were playing their third NORCECA event for the season, had been out of contention for a place in the knock-out phase since Friday.
They lost their third and final match in Group D the day after, 20-22, 21-8, 15-7 against the McNamara sisters, Megan and Nicole, of Canada.
American Heather Hughes and Lane Carico defeated Martha Revuelta and Bibiana Candelas of Mexico 21-17, 21-18 for the title just a week after winning gold in the previous leg in California, USA.
It was a hat-trick of titles for Carico as she had also been crowned champ in the seventh leg in Puerto Rico.
Americans David McKensie and Austin Rester came from behind to defeat Hinchey and Vandenburg 21-23, 25-23, 15-8 for the men’s title.
In the St Lucia leg of the circuit last year, Woodroffe combined with Joseph to place fifth, one spot behind Dyette and Philip. Whitfield and Williams were fourth among the men in St Lucia last year, and two weeks later they became this country’s only NORCECA medallists when they picked up bronze in the T&T leg.
This year’s 11-leg circuit will conclude in T&T on the final weekend of November, one week after the Costa Rica leg.