PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 13, 2022. The home crowd screamed, stomped and pounded the stands as they spurred their team (St. Maarten) on to victory in a close 5 setter against Anguilla at the ECVA Senior Women’s Championship.
It was a second 5 set match of the night and the partisan home crowd did not move until victory was achieved after two and a half hours. In this case the scores (24-26, 25-20, 29-27, 27-25, 15-12) was a true reflection of the closeness of the game.
St. Maarten benefitted from a heavy error count from their opponents 66, as well as dominating in kills 52 -24 and leading in blocks 9 to 4. Anguilla on the other hand had the better service game winning 17- 14 and they picked up 44 points from St. Maarten’s errors.
St. Maarten had all round contributions as four players chipped in with double figure points. Middle blocker Natalie Johnson led with 17, outside hitter Angela Abente had 15, while the captain Akilah Meulens playing opposite contributed 14 alongside outside hitter Geraldo James who also offered 14 points.
Anguilla’s point leaders were Rikiesha Leveret with 15 points (including with 9 service aces and 6 kills) and Janai Gumbs with 11 points but all in a losing cause.
Dimitri Beauperthuy Coach of St. Maarten was relieved. “Anguilla played a spectacular game, their service, particularly from their captain Leveret gave us a lot of problems and correspondingly our service was poor and caused us to shoot ourselves in the foot. Fortunately, we came out on the winning side mainly because some younger players stepped up and filled the void when needed most” he said.
Omari Hamilton Coach of Anguilla was a loss for words. “We really wanted to win this game, but they came out on top of a very close game, the closest I have experienced so far. There were some small adjustments needed that we missed that could have made a difference, but we can only fix those for the future and continue to play hard”, he surmised.
Captain was in tears. “This is a team we really wanted to defeat since they defeated us the last time we met. Unfortunately, they won this time, but we will come back stronger”, she promised.
Matches continue with the Grenada meeting St. Marteen with an all-important clash in pool play to determine final positions.