PLEASANTVILLE, San Fernando, Trinidad, July 10, 2022 – US Virgin Islands swept aside 2019 winners Suriname 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-17) to book a spot in the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Youth Girls (Under-19) Championship match with a perfect round-robin record of 3-0 at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (SRISA).
With the victory, the US Virgin Islands ended top of the four-team round-robin table with 14 points, eight ahead of Martinique (1-1) who have one match left to play against winless Trinidad and Tobago (0-2) while dethroned champion Suriname who ended with a 1-2 record and five points.
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.
Following the win which secured a first finals’ appearance since falling to host Trinidad and Tobago in the decider in 2007 , US Virgin Islands coach Isaac Raphael said he was very elated and proud of his team, and extremely delighted as well to be from the Virgin Islands.
“Credit must be given to our volleyball federation and President Lucille Hobson for setting up our program and the pathway for this team to be where it is, in with a chance to win a gold medal,” stated Raphael.
“This journey started since 2019 with most of these players and to see the work that has been put in bear fruit is very refreshing, but we know its not the end of the road as we still have the final to play and hope to complete the job of securing our first ever title at this level.
Claudius Straal, coach of the Suriname girls said his team had a good start but then their performance level dropped.
“We have a very slim chance now to get to the final because I expect Martinique to get the better of Trinidad and Tobago, so now our focus is to finish in the top three after being the champions in 2019.”