LABORIE, Grenada, August 21, 2016: St Kitts and Nevis turned the tables on St Vincent and the Grenadines, trumping them 3-0 ( 25-19, 25-22, 25-22) to win Group B of the NORCECA Zone FIVB World Championships Qualifiers at the Laborie Indoor Facility on Sunday night.
St Kitts and Nevis reached the final via the points ratio over Bermuda, but silenced St Vincent and the Grenadines which had won all three preliminary matches. Drawing from the many years of accumulated experience to outfox the youthful St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis used a measured approach against their opponents.
When it was all over in three sets, it showed that for St Kitts and Nevis, Opposite- Jason Liburd was the lead scorer with 13 points with St Clair Hodge, and Outside Hitter contributing 12.
For St Vincent and the Grenadines, captain and Outside Hitter – Cassius Franklyn totaled 11 points and Asmond Franklyn- 10.
St Vincent and the Grenadines though bettered St Kitts and Nevis in spikes, 35-33 and blocks, 9- 4. They were also excellent in sets, 28-13. St Kitts and Nevis benefitted from 32 errors committed by St Vincent and the Grenadines, while they reciprocated with 16.
It was the area of errors made by St Vincent and the Grenadines which coach of the St Kitts and Nevis team- Joao Carlos Morales de Campos fingered in his analysis of the match, which caused his to team prosper.
“Our team was more settled… We played smarter and we minimised mistakes by playing simple and forced them to make the errors”, de Campos noted.
The St Kitts and Nevis coach though admitted that his team has to work harder and be better prepared for the challenges of the second round of the qualifiers. Meanwhile, Vance Andrews, the St Vincent and the Grenadines coach thought his players went into the match with some level of complacency.
“They were flat, they were over confident knowing that they have beaten St Kitts and Nevis already and they can do it again , but they just could not pull it off this time”, Andrews said.
Looking ahead to the team’s progress to the next stage of the qualification process, Andrews proposed, “We have to look at this tournament, analyse our weakness and work on them as we go forward to the second round.”
St Kitts and Nevis completed the group with 2-1 win/loss ratio, and St Vincent and the Grenadines 3 wins to a solitary loss. Both St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines advance to the second round of the qualifiers.
Meanwhile St Clair Hodge of St Kitts and Nevis was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) when the men’s Group B of the NORCECA Zone FIVB World Championships Qualifiers concluded Sunday night. Hodge was a major contributor in several components, which allowed his team to take the gold medal in the group.
There were other individual awards which went the way of the St Kitts and Nevis players. The Best Digger and Best Opposite trophies scooped by Jason Liburd and Kemoroy Percival presented with the Best Libero title.
But, it was St Vincent and the Grenadines which bulked most of the awards, with Cassius Franklyn, responsible for three. Franklyn, the St Vincent and the Grenadines captain, was named the Best Scorer, one of two Best Outside Hitters and Best Receiver.
Two other Vincentians were named among the awards list. Shevron Cain took the Best Setter and Brendon Smart was one of two recipients as Best Middle Blocker. The rest of the awards went to third place team, Grenada. Nikel John was the other Best Middle Blocker awardee, while Kevon Noel got the Best Server and joined Franklyn, as the other Best Outside Hitter.
Grenada took the bronze in the penultimate match in the men’s Group B of the NORCECA Zone FIVB World Championships Qualifiers, numbing Bermuda 3-0 ( 25-23, 25-19, 28-26) here at the Laborie Indoor Facility. It was the consolation for the home team which had hoped for better fortunes, especially in front local supports and familiar territory.
Engineering Grenada’s third place win on the points tally chart, were Outside Hitter- Jonell Phillip, who scored 12 points, while Middle Blockers -Christopher Oxford and Nikel John contributed 11 and 10, respectively.
For Bermuda, Middle Blocker – Eron Woods and Outside Hitter- Daniel Fiddick were joint lead scorers with 9 points each to their names. Grenada was ahead in Spiking 33-30; Blocks, 8-7 and prevailed in serving with 9 aces to 1.
Individually, Phillip accounted for 10 of his team’s total spikes, while John and Oxford each had 3 blocks, and Outside Hitter – Kevon Noel aced 4 serves.
Final standings: 1. St Kitts and Nevis, 2. St Vincent and the Grenadines, 3. Grenada, 4. Bermuda.
PHOTO -: The St. Kitts/Nevis Men team celebrate their gold medal placing (photo courtesy www.norceca.net)