USVI’s Gillens cops Under-19 Girls “MVP” honours

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 11, 2022: Anna Gillens of US Virgin Islands was expected bestowed the top accolade of “Most Valuable Player” in the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Girls Under-19 (Youth Championship) at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA).

Gillens played a leading role in firing her team to a maiden title in the age-group and she was also awarded the “Best Scorer” and “Outside Hitter 1) awards.

Despite being displaced as champions, Suriname again dominated the individual  awards with Avaira Sengal taking home the “Best Server” and “Middle Blocker 2) awards while teammates Ketrua Heymans (Best Setter), Charise Frankel (Best Opposite Player), and Amber Daal (Best Digger) each collected one award as well each.

Tournament runners-up and debutants, Martinique had a double award recipient in Maelyss Melinda-Chanteur who walked away with the “Outside Hitter 2″ and ‘Best Receiver”  while countrywoman Lauryn Kichenin was named “Middle Blocker 2” and Trinidad and Tobago’s Jordanne Hutchinson, “Best Libero”.  

CAZOVA Under-19 Girls Honour Roll::

Best Server:#10 – Avaira Sengal (Suriname)  

Best Setter: # 3 – Ketrua Heymans (Suriname) 

Best Opposite Player:#14 – Charise Frankel (Suriname)  

Outside Hitter 1:#9 – Anna Gillens (USVI)  

Outside Hitter 2:#9 – Maelyss Melinda-Chanteur (Martinique) 

Middle Blocker 1:$5 – Lauryn Kichenin (Martinique)  

Middle Blocker 2: #10 – Avaira Sengal (Suriname)  

Best Digger:#5 – Amber Daal (Suriname) 

Best Receiver:#9 – Maelyss Melinda-Chanteur (Martinique) 

Best Libero: #8 – Jordanne Hutchinson (TTO)  

Best Scorer # 9 – :Anna Gillens (USVI)  

Most Valuable Player (MVP): #9 – Anna Gillens

USVI claims first Girls Under-19 CAZOVA crown

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 11, 2022: US Virgin Islands captured their first-ever Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Youth Girls (Under-19) Championship title following a polished 3-0 (25-22, 25-20,25-14) win over Martinique in their finals showdown at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA).

With the victory, which added to their triumph in the Under-21 Women’s competition less than 24 hours earlier, at the same venue, the US Virgin Islands booked their ticket as CAZOVA’s representative to the NORCECA Continental Championship to be staged in Puerto Rico from February 5 to 13, 2023 and will serve as a qualifier to the FIVB World Championship also to be played next year.

It was also the fourth win from as many matches for US Virgin Islands to end 4-0 while Martinique took home the bronze, and ended 2-2 after losing to USVI as well in the round-robin group stage.

With the two divisional titles won, USVI joined Trinidad and Tobago female teams of 20007 and 2012 to have completed the sweep at the same tournament while Barbados has done so among the male, in 2013 and 2019.

Speaking after his team’s first loss in two matches, Martinique coach Wilham Lebel said it was very difficult for his team to play without their best player, and captain Marie Marajo-Breton against a very solid team like US Virgin Islands.

“Our captain got injured in our previous match and it was difficult for our girls today without her. But, I’m still proud of my players because they did well and this is just a result of four months of  preparation and training.

Lebel also congratulated US Virgin Islands for the win saying, “I think they had a good game plan and their attackers were very good.”,

An elated Isaac Raphael, coach of all the US Virgin Islands at the championship was full of praise for his players who he said showed great physical fitness and commitment.

“Some of our girls have doubled up in this tournament by playing in both age-groups and going into the match some of them were expectedly tired, but they were still able to come out and give off their best.

“It was also difficult to bring them down from the high of winning the Under-21 title, so overall for us to be among teams like Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago in winning the two gender titles at the same tournament is really very special, and says a lot for our program.”

Haiti’s Beauvoir spikes Under-21 “MVP” award

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 11, 2022: Estakend Beauvoir of Haiti capped off a memorable tournament for his team by being named as the “Most Valuable Player” in the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Men’s Under-211(Junio Championship) at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA).

Beauvoir was very influential throughout the five-team round-robin tournament as Haiti finished with perfect 4-0 record to claim their first ever men’s age-group title, while he also picked up the “Best Scorer” accolade.

Haiti captain Dieulengy Relis who enjoyed a very productive tournament to lead his team to the historic crown copped the “Middle Blocker 1” award.

Tournament runners-up Suriname who also enjoyed their best finish at this age-group had two awardees in Jonovan Wijngaarde (Outside Hitter 1), and Jason Lesperans (Best Digger) while US Virgin Islands’ had four award recipients in captain Gabriel Rosa (Best Setter), De Andrae Tylor (Middle Blocker 2), and Taj Bales (Best Receiver and Best Libero), and Jamaica, the trio of Damion Smith (Best Server and Best Opposite Player), Kenneth-Roy Clarke 9Outside Hitter 2), and bronze medal winners captured 

CAZOVA Under-21 Men Honour Roll:

Best Server:#7 – Damion Smith (Jamaica)

Best Setter: # 3 – Gabriel Rosa (USVI)

Best Opposite Player:#7 – Damion Smith (Jamaica)

Outside Hitter 1: #13 -Jonovan Wijngaarde (Suriname)

Outside Hitter 2:#9 – Kenneth-Roy Clarke (Jamaica)

Middle Blocker 1:#8 – Dieulengy Relis (Haiti)

Middle Blocker 2: #10 – De Andrae Taylor (USVI)

Best Digger: #17 – Jason Lesperans (Suriname)

Best Receiver: #5 – Taj  Bates (USVI)

Best Libero: # 5 – Taj Bates (USVI)

Best Scorer: #11 – Estakend Beauvoir (Haiti)

Most Valuable Player (MVP): #11 – Estakend Beauvoir (Haiti)

Haiti cruises to maiden CAZOVA Under-21 Men’s title

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 11, 2022: Haiti strolled to their first title at the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior Men’s Championship after cruising past host Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-15) at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena.

With the win in the final match of the tournament, the Junior Siecle-coached Haitians, who ended in second spot in 2017/2018 and fourth in 2015, ended with a perfect 4-0 win-loss round-robin record  and 18 points, two ahead of runner-up Suriname (3-1) while Jamaica took the bronze medal with a 2-2 record and 11 points with Trinidad and Tobago (1-3) fourth with three points, and winless US Virgin Islands, firth with a 0-4 record and two points.

The victory for Haiti put them on par with their 2015 Under-21 women’s team who won their maiden title in Barbados, and also secured their ticket to the NORCECA Under-21 Men’s Continental Championship to be hosted by Cuba from May 7 to 15, 2023.

Speaking afterwards a relaxed but very elated Siecle, said it was the objective of the team from the onset to come to Trinidad to win the tournament and he was proud they had done exactly that.

“The boys trained very hard back home and we were well prepared coming here to play and match by match we stayed focus and tonight we are all very proud to be champions.

Dieulengy Relis, captain of the Haitian said he too was elated and proud of his achievement as a player, captain and Haitian.

“We know it was not going to be easy but to come here and win each game and to be crowned champions is a great feeling.

Suriname whips TTO for Under-19 Girls bronze medals

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 11, 2022 – Former champions Suriname secured a bronze medal finish in the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Youth Girls (Under-19) Championship after whipping host Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 (25-14, 25-8, 25-) in their third place playoff at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA).

This was only the second time in the six editions of the competition, Suriname had secured a top three finish, following their title win in 2019 in Jamaica while Trinidad and Tobago, winners of the first three tournaments in 2007, 2012 and 2013 had to settle for fourth spot for the second consecutive time.

Commenting on the performance of his team, Trinidad and Tobago coach Saleem Ali was quick to admit that the service game of Suriname proved too difficult for his team to have a chance.

“Suriname served very well, and we never settled into our passing game, which resulted in the defeat. But, credit to our girls because I think they came out and did the best they could providing the difficult circumstance we had in terms of lack of preparation time needed for a competition of this magnitude.”

“We also have a very young team and they lacked that experience to compete at this level, and this will only come with time and the more matches they can play at the international level.”

Richardo Soerodikromo, assistant coach of Suriname said he was pleased that his team was able to overcome the disappointment of not repeating as champions by at least taking the bronze medals.

“As you saw with our performance today, we tried to give all of the girls some playing time, but it was clear that some had played more than the others, and our concentration levels was very sporadic.”

Suriname downs Jamaica Under-21 men for silver

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 11, 2022 – Suriname secured a surprisingly comfortable 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-18) triumph over Jamaica in a battle of teams with 2-1 win-loss records for the second spot in the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Junior Men (Under-21) Championship at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena.

With the win, the Antoine Vliet-coached Suriname, ended their four-match round-robin schedule in the five-team winner-take-all competition with a 3-1 record and 16 points to earn their best ever finish in the tournament history.

Haiti has a perfect record of 3-0 and 13 points ahead of their final match while Jamaica finished with a 2-2 record and 11 points in third spot followed Trinidad and Tobago (1-2) with three points, and winless US Virgin Islands, who completed their four-match campaign with two points.

In the final match in the pool, Haiti faces Trinidad and Tobago and barring a shocking defeat will take home the gold medals.

Despite the loss, Steve Davis, coach of Jamaica said he was very proud of his players because he knew that they worked very hard in the limited time they had to prepare.

“Today, I have no blame for the boys even though I think that we contributed to our defeat by not having a good serving, passing or attacking game.”

“Those errors happens when their is a lack of preparation and that is what happened with us, so to come away with a medal, our first since 1999 is still a positive and something for us to work with.”

Furgil Ong A Fat, Suriname’s assistant coach was pleased with the outcome, saying the boys’ executed the game plan very well.”

“Our aim was to win the gold medal, but for us to have our best finish in the competition, since a fourth placed finish in 2017/2018 gives us encouragement for the future.”

USVI’s Gillens spikes Under-21 MVP honours

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 10, 2022: Anna Gillens of the US Virgin Islands was named as the  ‘Most Valuable Player’ after leading her team to a first-ever Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association(CAZOVA) Junior Women (Under-21) Championship title at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA).

With team captain Alek-Wek Raphael going down injured in their penultimate match, Gillens showed great leadership on the way to helping her team take home the title by beating Suriname in straight sets and was also named as one of two “Outside Hitter” awardees.

Her team-mates Ayanna Pharoah (Best Setter), Tyannah Lake (Middle Blocker #2 & Best Opposite Player) award recipient  along with Trinidad and Tobago’s Adalia Badroe (Best Libero) were the other players to pick up awards alongside Suriname’s Shaniva Balkaran who collected four, and her countrywomen Angeni Cheuk-Alam and Charis Peroti,

Best Server: # 6 – Angeni Cheuk-Alam (Suriname)

Best Setter: # 1 – Ayanna Pharoah (USVI) 

Best Opposite Player: # 7 – Tyannah Lake (USVI) 

Outside Hitter #1: # 9 – Anna Gillens (USVI) 

Outside Hitter #2: # 2 – Shaniva Balkaran (Suriname)

Middle Blocker #1: # 17 –  Charis Peroti (Suriname)

Middle Blocker #2: # 7 – Tyannah Lake (USVI)

Best Digger: # 2 – Shaniva Balkrana (Suriname)

Best Receiver: # 2 – Shaniva Balkaran (Suriname)

Best Libero: # 5 – Adalia Badroe (TTO)

Best Scorer: # 2 – Shaniva Balkaran (Suriname)

Most Valuable Player (MVP): # 9 – Anna Gillens (USVI) 

Suriname’s Meson is Under-19 Boys CAZOVA MVP

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 10, 2022:  Suriname’s Anakaba Meson captured the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award among his three individual honours after  helping his country to a 2-0 win over host Trinidad and Tobago in the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association(CAZOVA) Youth Men (Under-19) Championship at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA).

In addition to the most prestigious individual award, ,Meson also walked away with the “Best Scorer” and “Best Opposite Player” accolades as his team secured a spot at the NORCECA Continental Championships next year.

The individual awards were dominated by Suriname with nine of the 12 going the visitors way.

For Suriname Rowensly Sibendi captured two awards, the “Best Server” and “Middle Blocker #2” awards while Brendan Hiwat (Best Setter), Nalam Bruce (Outside Hitter #1), Anfernee Lee A Leong (Outside Hitter #2), and Robert Benschop (Best LIbero) also picked up accolades.

The trio of Dejaun Williams (Middle Blocker #1), Mikael Ash (Best Digger) and Jedaiah Sanoir (Best Receiver) were the Trinidad and Tobago players taking home individual honours.

Best Server: # 12 – Rowensly Sibendi (Suriname)

Best Setter: #6 – Brendan Hiwat (Suriname)

Best Opposite Player: #18 – Anakaba Meson (Suriname)

Outside Hitter #1: #15 – Nalam Bruce (Suriname)

Outside Hitter #2: #16 – Anfernee Lee A Leong (Suriname)

Middle Blocker #1: #6 – Dejaun Williams (TTO)

Middle Blocker #2: #12 – Rowensly Sibendi (Suriname)

Best Digger: #16 – Mikael ash (TTO)

Best Receiver: #10 – Jedaiah Sanoir (TTO)

Best Libero: #12 – Robert Benschop (Suriname)

Best Scorer: #18 – Anakaba Meson (Suriname)

Most Valuable Player (MVP): #18 – Anakaba Meson (Suriname)

USVI overcomes Raphael absence to spike first Under-21 women’s title

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 10, 2022: US Virgin Islands overcame the absence of injured captain Alek-Wek Raphael to beat  Suriname 3-0 (25-22, 25-9, 25-19) to secure their first ever title in the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association(CAZOVA) Junior Women (Under-21) Championship at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA). 

With Raphael picking up a torn left-knee tournament ending injury when both teams met in their final round-robin encounter on Saturday, which also ended in a 3-0 win for USVI, all eyes were on the round-robin table-toppers to see how they would cope without their inspirational level. 

However, despite some early resistance from Suriname, the US Virgin Islanders who previous best finish came in 2011/2012 as runner-up to Trinidad and Tobago used a well balanced team effort to come away with the win which earned them the  spot at the NORCECA Under-21 Women’s Continental Championship from April 16 to 24, 2023 in the USA. 

An emotional Isaac Raphael, coach of the new champions said it was an amazing feeling to climb the ladder as champions. 

He added, “I have been champions with so many teams before, but this is the first time I have reached these heights with my country and the feeling is just amazing.” 

Raphael added, “Throughout the tournament the girls have been amazing and even when their captain (Alek-Wek) went down with the injury they never buckled but instead lifted their game to another level, and I’m very proud of them.” 

Team captain, Alek-Wek who watched on from the sidelines said never for one moment she doubted the capabilities of her teammates despite her absence. 

“Even though I was not part of the action today, I’m just as excited because I know we have worked hard and to see that we have been finally able to win the title is an incredible feeling.” 

Martinique humbles TTO to reach Under-19 Girls final 

PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 10, 2022 – Debutants Martinique cemented their spot in the final of the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Youth Girls (Under-19) Championship thanks to a 3-0 defeat of host Trinidad and Tobago at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA). 

They improved to a 2-1 win-loss record and 11 points to end the four-team round-robin pool competition, three points behind US Virgin Islands whom they will meet in the gold medal as the top two finishers on Monday, July 11 from 2 pm. 

Despite their third straight sets loss from as many matches, Trinidad and Tobago will meet third place finisher and 2019 winner Suriname for the bronze medal in the penultimate match in the group on Monday from 12 noon. 

In the final, US Virgin Islands will start as favourites having defeated Martinique 20-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-23 when they met in the round-robin stage while Suriname defeated Trinidad and Tobago, 25-12, 25-4, 25-23. 

Speaking ahead of his team’s meeting with US Virgin Islands, Martinique coach, Wilham Lebel said  he was very happy for his players because it’s their first time in the competition and they have managed to reach the final. 

Looking ahead to the final, Lebel said he expects it to be a very difficult one for his team, but one that they can win. 

“It will be difficult because we know the quality of the opposition, but I think if we try our best and make minimum errors we will have a chance to be champions.