PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 8, 2022 – US Virgin Islands sounded a warning to their rivals at the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Youth Girls (Under-19) Championship with a commanding 3-0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-5) beating of host Trinidad and Tobago at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA).
The win moved US Virgin Islands into a two-way lead with debutants Martinique on five points each after the latter stunned defending champion Suriname in the pool opener on Thursday, also in straight sets, ahead of their meeting on Saturday, July 9 from 4 pm, with Trinidad and Tobago facing Suriname from 8 pm.
At the end of the four-team round-robin series, the top two teams will play for the gold medal and third and fourth will contest the bronze playoff.
Trinidad and Tobago coach Saleem Ali was humble in defeat and admitted that his team is a very young one and lack any sort of experience to compete against quality opposition.
“We prepared as best as we can considering all the distractions that are happening around the team and the girls will continue to give off their best effort. Team captain, Gabrielle Mc Kenzie said her team came into the match under a lot of stress and together with the slow start in the first set, they just fell apart from there.”
“Our mood coming into the game was not all that good due some administrative issues, but we have to pick up our game and come out and do better in our next match.”
Isaac Raphael, coach of the winning US Virgin Islands was pleased with the win by his relatively young group of players.
“We have been working back home to develop the women’s program and this is just the start, so it was nice to get a win in our first match.
“Trinidad and Tobago was not at their best and we were able to take advantage of the opportunities presented to us to get the victory.”
Team captain Jahyra Thomas said it was nice to get a win as captain and in their first match as a team at international level.
She added, “Our energy level to start te match was very good and we played very well together as unit, which was key to our win.