Suriname holds off TTO to claim U-19 Boys title and NORCECA ticket

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 9, 2022 –  Suriname secured the lone spot to the NORCECA Continental playoffs when they defeated host Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 (25-20, 25-11, 23-25, 25-13) to complete a 2-0 sweep of their best-of-three series for the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Youth (Under-19) Championship title at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena. 

With only two teams involved, the gold medal was decided via a best-of-three series and the visitors won game one on Friday 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-21) and despite a more spirited effort from the home team backed by a vociferous home crowd. 

Suriname held their nerve and poise to come away with the win to seal their spot at the NORCECA Continental Championship in Mexico from March 5-13, 2023 with the FIVB  World Championship to be staged in August with the host country still to be determined. 

The win also improved on Suriname’s previous showing in the competition of second spot in 2019 to three-time winners Barbados, who opted not to defend their title this time around. 

Speaking after his team’s victory a jubilant Suriname captain Brendan Hiwat said the team had a game plan to serve the ball to the weaker passers of the Trinidad and Tobago team which provided them with easier scoring chances. 

“We knew what we had to do coming off a win in the first match and thanks to our coach we stuck to his instructions, even though in the third set we were a little off, to get the win, our first title at this level.” 

 An emotional Antoine Vliet coach of the Suriname team said to coach at this level for the first time as a former player and to come away with the title brings a few tears to his eyes. 

“It’s a great reward knowing that the guys have put in the hard work to get here to eventually come out as champions. So now we can celebrate this win and then get down to the business of planning for the next stage of qualifiers. 

“We had to leave a few players back home from this team and looking ahead I expect that they will be back to give the team more quality and give us a better chance at NORCECA.”