Calypso Spikers stroll past Barbados in Group I opener 


ST AUGUSTINE, Trinidad:  Finland-based Darlene Ramdin led four players in double-digits as host T&T sounded an early warning to all opponents in Group I of their NORCECA Women’s Second Round qualifiers to the 2014 FIVB World Championship in Italy with a straights sets win (25-12, 25-6, 26-24) over rivals Barbados.


This was at the University of the West Indies Sports and Physical Educational Centre, St Augustine, on Saturday morning.


Ramdin tallied 16 points, inclusive of 12 kills and three service aces while Poland-based players, captain Krystle Esdelle added 13 points (five blocks), Channon Thompson, 11 points (ten kills) and Sinead Jack, ten points, three of which were blocks for the seventh NORCECA ranked  T&T, in the victory which came in  57 minutes.


For  Barbados, ranked 13th in NORCECA,  Shari Matthews, the team captain and Rhe-Ann Niles each got eight points while Anicia Woods chipped in with five in the loss.


Overall, it was a dominant display by T&T which was shown via its 40-19 spikes advantage and 15-3 on service aces, while the Barbadians had a better showing on blocks to trail, 4-6.


Commenting on her team’s performance, Barbados captain, Shari Matthews was quick to point out it was the first match that the entire team played togetherfor quite some time.


“It was not our best performance but it would serve as a learning experience for the two other matches in the group,” added Matthews.


Despite the win Esdelle was not all that pleased with how her team played.


She said, “We played O.K, but this is not the level of volleyball we can play. So we are looking ahead to the next matches and of course an improvement in our all-round performance.”


Andrew Brathwaite, the Barbadian coach said his teams always look forward to playing against T&T.


“I was very disappointed in how we played in the first two sets, while our third set was much better as we put up a better fight.


“So that is something that we can build on for the two remaining round-robin matches and hopefully we can get the wins to reach the gold medal match and qualify for the next round.


T&T coach, Cuban-born Francisco Cruz said he thinks his players did not show their full capacity in the match maybe because it was our first match of the competition and the feeling of some pressure.


“In the end the team began to progress as the match went on , but I still want to see  improvement in our next two matches.


In Saturday’s second match of the first session, 18th ranked Honduras come up against 22nd ranked Anguilla.


On Saturday afternoon, in the second session, Anguilla and Barbados from 6pm followed by host T&T against Honduras at 8pm.


On Sunday, T&T meets  Honduras in the first match of the day from 9am and two hours later, Barbados and Anguilla close out the round-robin group play , at the end of which the top two teams will qualify for the gold medal match on Sunday night from 8pm as well as the Third Round of NORCECA qualification to Italy.


The other two teams will play for third spot on Sunday from 6pm with the winner still in with a chance to qualify for Italy.


However, it will only do so, as the best ranked third placed team of all the six Second Round groups  on the NORCECA ranking on January 1, 2014.