St. Lucia bags majority of awards at ECVA Female Championship

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 16, 2022.When St. Lucia returns home from the ECVA championship with their luggage overloaded with seven individual awards from the twelve total handed out during the closing ceremony.

Kerin Neptune of St. Lucia was recognized as the Most Valuable Player MVP. She played in the outside hitting position and was also judged the best in that category as well and featured as the best server and best receiver, for a total of four individual awards.

Also from St. Lucia, the second outside hitter was Amalia Louis and Tyna William one of the middle blocking awards. Chenoa Evans was granted the best opposite.

Shoranda Pickering picked up two awards for BVI, best scorer and best middle blocker.

Tivona Trotman was the one to get two awards for St. Maarten, best Libero and the best digger.

The remaining award went to Jomelar Billy of Grenada as the best setter.

ECVA Women’s Championship Individual Awards

The final team positions were

1. St. Lucia

2. BVI

3. Antigua

4. St. Maarten

5. Grenada

6. Anguilla

7. St. Eustatius

The next female competition is slated for 2025.

St. Lucia dominates BVI in ECVA female championship match

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 16, 2022.- St. Lucia team left the best game until last winning in straight sets over contenders BVI (25-17, 25-10, 25-13) to retain the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association female championship title and remained undefeated throughout the tournament.

At the onset of the second, St. Lucia seemed to have switched gears to a different level and BVI had no answer. They literally had their way in all facets of the game.

In attack, Louis 9, Neptune 9 and Chenoa 5 contributed the most to the overall tally of 29 points from kills. On the other hand, BVI could only manage 7 kills. St. Lucia also led at the net in blocks 7 to 4. Service points were also in St. Lucia’s favour 14 to 4. Altogether this was the “Lusha” pressure that BVI succumbed to. Eventually Neptune ended with the most individual points (17) on the night whereas BVI did not get their attack going and no one had double figures in points.

Kendall Challery coach of St. Lucia was overjoyed, “I am very happy that we got the job done the girls stuck to our game plan by thwarting their main attack once we did that we gained momentum on that and never looked back. Finally, the girls start was playing the way we ought to. We have a tendency to drop our level but that did not happen tonight. So I feel very proud and I know the fans back home will be happy for us”.

Coach of the BVI team Stephen Payne was gracious in defeat, “the championship was all St. Lucia, they had their way, and we could not find answers at the moment. However, the intension for us coming here was to medal and we have achieved that objective. I would like to say congratulations to the winners, they deserve it. We will now debrief and concentrate on future efforts”.

The final positions at the end of the ECVA senior female competition are as follows: – 1 St. Lucia 2. BVI 3. Antigua Barbuda 4. St. Maarten 5. Grenada. 6. Anguilla 7. St. Eustatius.

Antigua edges St. Maarten to take bronze

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 16, 2022.- A noisy partisan home crowd could not save their team defeat at the hands of the more experienced Antigua and Barbuda 3-1 (25-12, 29-31, 25-21, 25-23) to take the bronze medal at the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association Senior Women’s Championship.

St. Maarten pushed their opponents in almost every set but came up short to finish in fourth place.

A well-rounded attack helped the Antiguan cause as middle blocker Peters posted 17 points, Carr chipped in with 13 and Payne 10. On the other side, it was only middle blocker Natalie who had double figures (10) for St. Maarten.

Antigua and Barbuda took control of the scoresheet leading 30 to 24 in attack, 11 to 8 in blocks and 15 to 9 in service points. Despite the win Antigua was guilty of committing too many errors, a total of 46 points of the 87 garnered by St. Maarten was attributed to errors.

This issue was not missed by coach Benjamin of Antigua, “we still have a problem with transition, and we committed far too many errors particularly with our serve. We definitely can do better than this brand of volleyball displayed here. We will now look to the future to integrate the youths into our program.”

Captain Simon committed to assist with that drive, “we can’t just throw the youth in the deep like that we have to guide them and blend them in, so as a more senior player I am all for that. Having said that I must say that we are disappointed that we only got as far as the bronze medal match. From my assessment this is a tournament”.

Coach Dimitri Beauperthuy was very upbeat in defeat, “although we lost to Antigua I am glad that the home crowd got a chance to see what we are building. In this squad, 6 players are still in High School and you saw how they fought out there, I am extremely proud of the effort and feel confident going for the future”.

His captain Meulens was ecstatic, “actually this is one of the reasons I was delighted to lead the team because of the number of young players in the squad. This augers well for the future of volleyball in St. Maarten as well as the Caribbean. It was exciting playing with them. I had a blast and although we are somewhat disappointed that we did not win the bronze we know for sure that we improved our standings and standard and that’s a win in my book.”

Grenada defeat Anguilla in thrilling 5 setter for fifth place

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 16, 2022.- Grenada won by a nose 3-2 (16 -25, 25-16, 13-25, 25-13, 16-14) to Anguilla for fifth place at the ECVA Women’s Senior Championship in a match befitting of a final as both teams scrabbled and rallied for every point they could muster.

The scoresheet was testimony to the closeness of the game. In kills, Grenada led 32 to 29, in blocks Anguilla led 7 to 4, while service points were even at 7 all. Both teams gave up 54% in errors, no advantage there again.

Grenada was led by two players each contributing 10 points, outside hitter Mitchell had all her points coming from kills, while Shakina had 5 aces in her 10. Once again Anguilla was led by their captain in Leveret who got 11 points from her outside hitting position while middle blocker Richardson contributed with 9 points.

Coach of the Grenada, Staciann Lake was very satisfied as she focused on the present and the future of volleyball in Grenada, “although we did not achieve the ultimate goal, we are very pleased in the result tonight, it was our chance to let out everything and get a win in the bag. However we have to do much more to hone the raw talent that exists at home. We must get back active volleyball, better scouting and some more professional coaching to put our team at a level that is able to compete successfully at this level”.

Their captain and setter was jubilant, saying with glee “it feels so good winning that game after urging my teammates to play basic volleyball- one serve one pass one set one kill and we did just that and won the game”.

Omari Hamilton was also optimistic about the future of volleyball in his country, “we put out our all on the court and it just did not come out in our favor, but you saw that we played our hearts out. Now we must go back home, revamp and do a lot more work taking care of our bodies and put in the time to train and get much better”.

Captain Leveret concurred with her coach, “we must go back and definitely make some changes. I will start with me and commit myself to practice, practice, and practice”.

St. Lucia remains undefeated; puts away Antigua in 4 sets

Phillipsburg, St. Maarten October 15, 2022. St. Lucia booked their passage to the finals of the ECVA senior female competition with a 3-1 victory over archrivals Antigua and Barbuda. On the 2 hour mark the scores were (18-25, 25-13, 25-15, 27-25) in favour of St. Lucia. This meant that they remained undefeated in the tournament so far.

A well rounded attack was the main feature that led to victory for St. Lucia. Four players had scores of over 10. Kerin Neptune 14, Chenoa Evans 13,  Tyna William 13 and Amalia Louis 10. On the other hand, Sharon Payne and Tyke Hawkins had ten each for the losing side.

St. Lucia showed their dominance in Attack with a score of 33 to 20 as well as lead in Service points 17-4, Antigua however lead in blocks 10 to 5.

Coach of the St. Lucia team Kendall Challery was still not 100% pleased. “I noticed that Antigua came out on a mission they wanted to get to finals but we could not allow that. It took us a while to get going, pick up momentum and came out on top.” He said

Fritzroy Benjamin Coach of the Antigua team walked us through the game. “The ladies played well they put up a fight. However there were still lapses in concentration, some transitional problems and we need to work more on fitness.” He assessed.

Captain Rosemarie Simon consoled the coach by stating that they will take the bronze in their final game tomorrow.

BVI silences home crowd defeating St. Maarten on route to finals

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 15, 2022.- It was heart break for the home fans when they witnessed their home team (St. Maarten) lose 3-1 (25-15, 25-19, 17-25 and 25-23) to BVI to reach the finals of the ECVA Women’s Senior Championship.

The fans were hoping for a five setter after their team was down 2-0 and clawed their way back to win the third. They were even more optimistic when in the fourth set they slashed a big BVI lead to just 1 when BVI had set point. BVI persevered and won the point at the net that hushed the crowd.

Once again Middle Blocker Shoranda Pickering from the BVI garnered the game high points-19, made up of 12 kills and 5 aces along with 2 blocks. She got some help from Captain Alexander with 9 points.

St. Marten’s charge was led by captain Meulens who grabbed 10 points. Meanwhile BVI benefitted from a high error count- 51(or 55%) while donating 35. The rest of the team scoresheet was even with serves tied at 10 blocks going the way of BVI 7-4 and while St. Maarten had the edge in kills 32 to 25.

Antigua and St. Lucia will play to decide the other finalist.

Coach of the BVI team Stephen Payne gave his assessment of what happed, “we went away from the game plan somewhat because of some miscommunication. However a win is a win and we are on our way to the finals. We came here and played game by game and point by point and we won’t move away from that strategy”.

His captain Henrietta Alexander was gleeful, “when we came here, we were ranked 7th in the ECVA with an underdog label. We have not competed for several years and so some people counted us out. However, we came here to upset some people and that´s exactly what we did, now we will be playing for gold”.

Coach Dimitri Beauperthuy was upbeat despite the loss, “tonight we came up short, but the girls poured in a tremendous effort after a slow start.  I feel proud to know that we gave everything we had, and the opponents just got the better of us on the day”.

Captain of the home team Akila Meulens enjoyed the experience, “it was exciting as we dug a hole, but we were coming out of it. If we had that same energy from the start, things might have been different but that´s behind us now and all we can do is to refocus to try to win the bronze, which is exactly what’s on my mind now”. 

Antigua Barbuda books passage to Semi with win over Anguilla

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 15, 2022. Antigua and Barbuda booked a spot in semifinals after a 2-hour quarterfinal victory 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-23, 25-15) over Anguilla at the ECVA senior female competition.

Anguilla threatened for a moment but then the senior players for Antigua took over particularly in the 4th and final set and gave themselves a chance for redemption.

Antigua Barbuda came out on top in every scoring category, in kills 32 to 23, in blocks 6 to 3 and in service points 11 to 5.

Middle Blocker Kwansia Carr of Antigua and Barbuda led all scorers with 18 points made up of 13 spikes and 5 blocks. She got help from outside hitter Yuderka Martinez who had a sterling service game clocking 8 Aces.

For the losing side, both outside hitters captain Rikiesha Leveret and Janai Gumbs posted 10 points each.

The scoresheet supported what Coach Benjamin was complaining about as more that 61 % of Anguilla’s points came from errors. Anguilla on the other hand committed just under 50%.

Semifinal action is slated for later this evening with St. Maarten taking on BVI and Antigua Barbuda versus St. Lucia.

Captain of the Antigua Barbuda team Ms Rosey Simon felt despite the win their passing was poor. “If you look at the stats you would see we only have very few attacks. You have to get that pass right in order to get a proper attack. Once we get back that on track, we will be ok”, she stated.

“We were confident that we would have defeated Anguilla but the quality of play is still below par. We can play better volleyball. We are still committing simple errors but fortunately it was a little less than our second and third game”, stated Coach Fritzroy Benjamin of Antigua and Barbuda.

His opposite number Omari Hamilton was visibly upset. “We just had some technical difficulties that we just could not do anything about at the time. It affected our rhythm and our mental focus and once the focus goes the game plan goes. We now must wrap our heads around this, reevaluate and come out and do our best in the match for 5th place”, he stated.

Captain Leveret was upbeat despite the loss. “I would first of all congratulate my girls and urge them to be positive. We improved a lot in a few areas, but we still have some things to work on. In all we will encourage each other to get better”, she said.

BVI earns ECVA semifinal berth with straight sets win over Grenada

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 15, 2022.- BVI poured in a workman like performance to continue their Coach predicted path to the semifinal. In 75 minutes BVI had chalked up a quarterfinal victory with scores of 25- 23, 25- 15 and 25-15 against Grenada.

The scoresheet validated the coach’s assessment as it showed that middle blocker Shoranda Pickering had 22 points -17 of them spikes. Captain Henrietta Alexander chipped in with 10 points of her own.

On the other side no one managed double figures in points, with 8 points being the best contribution coming from opposite hitter Shakkina Orr.

Meanwhile BVI took pole position in the 3 key areas of the team scoresheet; 32-11 in attacks, 11 to 4 in blocks and 11 to 8 in service aces.  They benefitted from 30 opponent’s errors and gave up 21.

BVI will now meet St. Maarten in the semifinal while Grenada has been relegated to play for a plate position.

Coach of the winning team Stephen Payne was cautiously pleased. “The dynamics of the game showed that we eventually won but our game level in terms of execution is still not where I want it to be. However, the girls fought through, and we came out with another win. Today our service and attack through the middle with Shoranda (Pickering) worked well for us”, he noted.

Pickering the leading scorer by far had an opportunity to speak about her game.  “I think that overall, the team knows that I play an important part of what we do. However, I need the five others on the court in order to execute. I am happy that we were able to win despite the average execution. At this point fatigue may be setting in but we must want it more and that will see us through”, she said.

Coach of the Grenada team was disappointed but hopeful. “The opportunity for the gold medal match has eluded us but that’s not going to stop us from giving our all in our remaining match which is for 5/6 place. We will go away, evaluate, and come back stronger in the future”, she promised.

St. Maarten emerges winner in close encounter with Grenada

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 14, 2022.- This one almost turned out to be a five setter as the 4 th and final set saw two teams with a never say die attitude.  Eventually St. Maarten got the edge and grasped it with both hands, with the 3-1 victory (25-19, 25 -22, 25-27, 30-28.

St, Maarten took first place in pool A and got an automatic berth to the semifinals.

Captain Akilah Muelens led all scorers with 15 points made up of 12 spikes and 3 aces. Support came from Angela with 12 points which included 8 spikes and 3 blocks.

For Grenada Mitchell had 11 points while Shakknia Orr and Thornia Williams each added 10 points

The scoresheet was close with St. Maarten enjoying marginal leads in all categories. In kills it was 29 to 28, blocks were 9 to 8 and serve was 11 to 9. St. Martin also enjoyed 56 errors from Grenada while giving up 51 errors themselves.

Coach Dimitri Beauperthuy was relieved. “Tonight, our service worked for us, I think we did well there. I really can’t put my finger what happened in the third set and it trickled over into the 4th set. Thankfully we persevered and got the victory”, he said.

Staciann Lake of Grenada was still not perturbed. “Tonight I saw a team that showed vast improvements from game to game. We now move on to the quarterfinals and once those improvements continue look out for us”, she reported.

Grenada meets BVI in the quarterfinals while St. Maarten await winners in the semifinals.

St. Lucia undefeated in ECVA pool play winning in straights over Antigua & Barbuda

PHILLIPSBURG, St. Maarten October 14, 2022.- St. Lucia remained in full control of their encounter with Antigua & Barbuda winning in straight sets (25-18, 25-19, 25-15), for an undefeated record at the ECVA Women’s Championship.

Despite some early leads by Antigua & Barbuda, St. Lucia appeared to be coasting for victory in every game and in doing so, ended pool play undefeated.

St. Lucia was led by outside hitter Kerin Neptune with 15 points (10 spikes and 4 service aces).  Two other teammates had double figure scores in middle blocker Tyna William with 11 points made up of 6 spikes, 3 blocks and 2 aces, while outside hitter Amalia Louis had 10 points including 6 blocks and 3 aces.

Antigua Barbuda did not have anyone with double figures; Sharon Payne led with a total of 7 points.

The huge disparity in attack (St. Lucia 37 to Antigua 7) was a huge factor in determining the game. Other   scores were close, but St. Lucia led in all categories 10 to 8 in serves and 6 to 5 in blocks.

The win meant that St. Lucia earned a bye to the semifinal while Antigua and Barbuda was relegated to the quarter final. These matches take place tomorrow Saturday 15th with the finals on Sunday 16.

Coach Kendall Challery of St. Lucia was upbeat. “I am finally seeing my team. Tonight, our service game made the big difference, we served very well and upset their attack. It seems as if my team has a tendency to drop their game according to who is in front of them. We know that Antigua Barbuda is an arch rival so our level of play increase in intensity.” He concluded.

Captain Cindy Wilson had a slightly different view.  “Tonight, we brought the vibe as promised and we were able to play our game there was no pressure throughout”, she beamed.

Coach Benjamin from Antigua and Barbuda gave his own account. “Although we were more aggressive tonight we had some lapses and decided to do some switches. They did not quite work so it’s back to the drawing board for us,” he reported.

Rosemary Simon the captain of Antigua and Barbuda was not a happy camper. “I am disappointed, we have played St. Lucia many times with different results. However, we have a lot of new players so it was somewhat a testing process for us. We were neck and neck in the games, so it was not a case where they just steamrolled us”, she countered.