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Volleyball men book semis spot
Defending champions and host, T&T battled to another five sets win over Martinique to top Pool E in the Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Men’s Championship at the National Cycling Centre, Balmain, Couva.
The win, the third by a 3-2 margin was secured after (25-22, 20-25, 19-25, 25-21, 15-8) for two-time tournament winners on Thursday night.
T&T ensured a perfect 3-0 record in Pool E and the automatic semifinal spot for today from 7pm (Saturday) while Martinique finished third (1-2) and faced Pool D runner-up Jamaica in the first of last night’s (Friday) quarter-finals
Suriname (2-1), which was second in Pool E will meet Pool D third placed team, Haiti in the other semifinal from 7pm.
Team captain Ryan Stewart overcame a slow scoring start to finish with 18 points for T&T, 17 of which were spikes while Brandon Legall added 16, 13 on spikes in the one hour and 54 minutes battle.
The pair of Mikheil Hoyte and Daneil Williams, chipped in with eight points each, and former Finland-based Akim Bushe seven to help secure top spot.
Stephane Alfa had the hot hand for Martinique with 17 points, which comprised mostly of kills, 15 to be exact, and the duo of Yoann Breleur, and Rodrigue Larcher, 14 apiece.
In general it was a very competitive match by both teams as was evident by the closeness of their overall key facets of the match with T&T holding a slim edge on spikes 46-45, dominating on blocks 13-18 and both teams level with seven service aces each.
One factor of the game, the T&T coaching staff would not have be pleased about though was their high level of errors, which number 41 on the night, to Martinique’s 38, close to ten of which came in the final set for the loser on faulty setting.
After the close battle, Martinique captain David Le Faivre said his team lost focus at crucial parts of the match.
“Our aim was to win the match and top the group, but T&T came ready to fight as well and in the end we did not get the result that we wanted and now we have to continue to fight for the chance for the title .”
Stewart said he was extremely pleased with the effort of his players especially when the fell behind again in yet another match.
“The players kept working and in general we also played together as one unit.”
Erialc Eddy Martinique’s coach was quick to note that he felt his tea ran out of energy.
“I think in the fifth set my players were tired and that created a lot of mistakes by us. Going forward we need to be much more focus and stronger.”
T&T’s Sean Morrison echoed Stewart sentiments saying is very happy with the effort of the players.
“It’s not easy to play three straight five setters and the energy of the team was good. We now have a day off to regain our strength and focus on the semifinals.”
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