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Bahamas stay alive in ‘Worlds’ qualifying

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands, November 13: Bahamas sunk the hosts and stayed alive in their quest for promotion when Group C action in the first round of the CAZOVA qualifying series for the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Volleyball Championship continued here at Clifton Hunter High School.

After going down in straight sets against Guadeloupe in the first match of the tournament the day before, the Bahamians cruised past Cayman Islands 25-10, 25-12, 25-14 in the second match of a morning-session double header in 55 minutes.

The victory set-up a do-or-die clash between the seventh-ranked team in CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association) and No. 11 Bonaire in the first match of the evening session for the second and final qualifying place in the second round from this round-robin competition.

The winner of this clash and Guadeloupe, the highest ranked of the four participating countries at No. 6, will travel to Jamaica in July to battle for places in the third round in the NORCECA region.

Bahamas coach Jason Saunders noted that while his players will be the favourites “and expect to beat Bonaire” they still have to go out and get the job done.

And captain Kelsie Johnson was satisfied with the performance against Cayman Islands and is “confident of victory tonight.”

“We are facing more experienced teams in the competition and it is a good learning experience for us,” said Cayman Islands coach Mark Ray.

And captain Brenda Mascarenhas, who celebrates her 42nd birthday today, stated: “We trained hard, came out here and did our best.”

But after losing their first two matches, the lowest-ranked team in the competition at No. 12 have no chance of progressing when they take the court to oppose Guadeloupe in the final match of the tournament tonight.   

Guadeloupe are certain to capture the gold medal, even if they are upset by Cayman Islands.