The local women’s pair of Apphia Glasgow and La Teisha Joseph will depart for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands today via Jamaica to compete in the women’s segment of the 2015 Norceca Beach Volleyball Tour opener at Seven Miles Beach from Friday until Sunday.
Glasgow and Joseph, who have competed on the tour in the past, earned T&T’s lone available spot to the first stop on this year’s NORCECA tour after topping the five-stage T&T Volleyball Federation Beach Volleyball Tournament Qualifiers ahead of Ayana Dyette and Nancy Joseph while Elki Phillip and Shenelle Gordon were third.
The pair of Glasgow and Joseph will also be one of two T&T women’s team which will contest the first round of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) 2016 Rio Olympics Beach Volleyball Qualifiers in Ocho Rios Bay Beach, Jamaica, April 30 to May 5. And according to coach David Thomas, the local women will be using the tournament this weekend in Cayman Islands as part of their preparations for Jamaica.
Speaking on the eve of their departure, Thomas who along with the pair will overnight in Kingston ahead of departing for Cayman Islands on Wednesday morning said the team will be aiming for a top ten finish. He added, “The girls had a few problems with regards to getting to train because of some financial constraits, and they also were lacking in some confidence as they did not feel they were getting the full support of everyone involve.
“That is now behind them and in the final set of training sessions we had before we leave you can see they had regained their focus, and I believe once they play to their full potential they will be able to represent themselves and T&T well, and finish among the top ten. “Our focus is really on the Olympic qualifiers the following weekend in Jamaica, so while we will want to place as high as we possibly can, our main focus will be on getting the team to gel in a very competitive environment ahead of the first round Olympic Qualifiers.
The other women’s team which will compete in the Olympic qualifiers is the pair of Phillip and Gordon. This after Joseph was forced to withdrew from the local qualifiers, due to work commitments, leaving Dyette, without a team-mate. Dyette redeemed herself in the second phase of the T&TVF qualifiers though as she teamed with World Junior Under-21 player Malika Davidson to top the Pan American Games qualifiers.
Last year in Cayman, Dyette and Joseph ended in 11th spot in Cayman Islands from 17 teams.
.....Whitfield, Williams return after two-years absence
Tomorrow (Wednesday), the top local men’s team of Daneil Williams and Fabien Whitfield will head for Cayman Islands, but via Miami, as they also look ahead to the first round of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) 2016 Rio Olympics Beach Volleyball Qualifiers. The CAZOVA men’s Olympic Qualifiers are carded for the National Beach Volleyball Development Centre, here in Trinidad at Saith Park, Chaguanas from May 8-10.
Williams and Whitfield qualified to compete in Cayman Islands without dropping a match or set in the first phase of the local federation’s five qualifying tournaments held in February and March. They then emerged unbeaten in the second phase of qualifiers, four tournaments, between March/April for the Pan American Games to equal a feat of nine straight local tournament wins, achieved by Dyette and Joseph from last year to the opening tournament this year.
Unlike, Gordon and Joseph, the pair of Whitfield and Williams, who won a historic Norceca Beach Tour bronze medal at Mission Beach, Toco, three years ago have competed in Cayman Islands in the past, 2013 to be exact. Last year, Under-23 duo, Tevin Joseph and Tarandath Deonath who were preparing for the FIVB World Under-23 Championships competed in the opening leg of the tour while in 2013, Williams paired with Simon Blake.
Joining Whitfield and Williams in the Olympic qualifiers will be Tevin Joseph and Josiah Eccles, who ended as runners-up in both the first and second stage events hosted by the T&TVF.