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CAZOVA coaches full of expectations on brink of WCH Qualifiers


KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 25, 2017 - The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Championship Qualifiers for the Caribbean region will serve off on Wednesday July 26 in Kingston, Jamaica, with all matches to be played at the National Indoor Sports Centre.


Eight teams are participating in the World qualifying competition, which is by extension a challenge for the 2017 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Championships.


Ahead of the tournament start, there is much excitement and anticipation, with the head coach of each participating nation stating their expectations yesterday at Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston, which is the Tournament Village.


Trinidad and Tobago are the defending champions and they are expected to face their strongest competition from host team Jamaica, which ended runners-up in the 2015 finals.


Nicholson Drakes, Trinidad and Tobago: “I expect that we’ll come and play good volleyball, play to our level, don’t underestimate any team and take each game one at a time. We know that there are some good teams in CAZOVA volleyball and at any time these teams can overthrow anybody and we’re very mindful of this. So with the help of The Almighty, we’re taking it day by day.”


Richard Chong, Jamaica: “We expect to at least make the final and maintain our second-place ranking in CAZOVA and progress to the third round. With the change (new coach, new management) in the team we hope that we can create history at home, with the appropriate support.”


Melinard Rene, Martinique: “Firstly, we want all the players to play well in the tournament. We want to give the best and advance to the next stage of the World Championship Qualifiers.”


Pascal Douglas, Guadeloupe: “We want to start good in the tournament and hope that we will have great pleasure, fun, on the court. The objective is to end up in the final.”


Jason Saunders, Bahamas: “One of the things I expect for this team, they play much better than the previous teams would have played. I expect for us to be very defensive minded and to always be aggressive at the net. I believe that once we do that we stand an excellent chance of being very successful in this championship.”


Eric Aikman, Suriname: “We’ve been preparing for a long time now. After the first round we even prepared more and worked harder to bring our volleyball on another level. My expectations are high. We want to play a very good tournament and we want to reach the finals.”


Rigo Thode, Curacao: “It’s two in one; we’re playing first for the qualification and then for the Caribbean title. We want to win our games in the first round so we can qualify for the Third Round for the World Championship Qualification.  We have to reach the finals so we can qualify for the Third Round.”


Melissa Schjang-Simmonds, US Virgin Islands: “We’ve a diverse group, with players as young as 16 and others as old as 30. So I expect them to do good in the tournament. We’re missing about four key players, but we’re still confident, I have a lot of confidence in this group. I wish everybody well, I wanna see healthy and competitive games.”


The highest ranked team in the 2017 CAZOVA Women’s Championship, along with Trinidad and Tobago (host of one group H), will advance to the Third Round of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Championship Qualifiers.