ST JOHN’S, Antigua, July 9, 2022 – Antigua and Barbuda advanced to the gold medal match of the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association( ECVA) Senior Men’s Championships, with a 3-1 ( 22-25, 25- 21, 25-22 , 27-25) hard fought battle against St Maarten, here at the YMCA Indoor Facility.
Going into the semi- final as the first place in Pool A, Antigua and Barbuda was put on the back foot in the first set by a St Maarten team that drew on all their experiences.
However, the home team rallied back in the other three sets to finally cross the line and a place in the final.
Again, Antigua and Barbuda’s Captain- Adrian Constant was almost unstoppable, as he poured in 30 points. He was ably assisted by Jamarie James, who contributed 22 points.
For St Maarten, Reigmar Vallies had 18 points, Rajheem Muelens– 14 and Leonardo Jeffers- 13 points.
Antigua and Barbuda was more proficient on Attacks, winning 61 of their 117, while St Maarten made good 44 of their 115.
Likewise, the Antiguans were better on Blocks 10-5, however, St Maarten aced 7 serves to Antigua and Barbuda’s -2.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Constant who led from the front in many aspects of the semi- finals, remarked in a post -match interview, “ It was a roller coaster game for us emotionally, because at times the other team was completely out of it and we were on top and there were times they were on top of us and we were out of it”.
Constant thus praised the home crowd’s response in his team’s time of need.
“ The crowd kept us 70/80% and we just needed to find the other 20”, Constant related.
Looking forward to the final versus St Lucia, Constant quipped: “ When you are in the final, you are expected to win”.
Joining Constant in lauding the performance of the Antigua and Barbuda team was Rosemarie Simon, the Assistant Coach.
A happy Simon said:” My players came into the semi- final with a mission and that was to leave and go to the final and we did that”.
“ There were times when we were down and we had to pull the guys back together, but overall they played a splendid game”, the female Assistant Coach commented.
Anticipating that Antigua and Barbuda will trump St Lucia, Simon projected that her team has what it takes to go all the way and take gold.
And, in spite of losing the match, St Maarten Head Coach- Clayton Holiday, was high in praise for his team.
Holiday assessed: “ I am proud of the way they played… My guys did well … It is regrettable that they ran short of courage to press on when we took the lead, but I must give them credit from rebounding from the previous match against St Lucia… We made some changes which panned out well”.