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Champs Guadeloupe finish unbeaten

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands, November 13, 2016 - Guadeloupe were in a class by themselves in Group C in the first round of the CAZOVA qualifying series for the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Volleyball Championship at Clifton Hunter High School.

The highest ranked of the four participating teams whipped the lowest, Cayman Islands, 25-14, 25-7, 25-16 tonight in the final match to finish the round-robin tournament unbeaten and with the gold medal.

After trailing 9-7 in the first set, Guadeloupe won ten consecutive points and did not face any more anxious moments in the 55-minute affair.

Leslie Turiaf led the way for the sixth-ranked team in CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association) and her teammate Sandra Ramier (ten) was the only other player to get into double figures.

Guadeloupe won all nine sets they contested and qualified for the second round, along with seventh-ranked runners-up Bahamas.

“We have been preparing for the tournament since February. Good start and good finish, we won all nine sets,” said coach Pascal Douglas.

And his jubilant captain Delphine Stephen stated: “Very proud of the team, we are going to Jamaica.” (referring to the venue for the second round competition in July).

The 12th-ranked Cayman Islands failed to win a set in the tournament, but their coach Mark Ray said “we showed heart and I am proud of my team”, and skipper Brenda Mascarenhas noted “we have only been training for two months.”

Including defending champions United States, seven countries from the NORCECA region will compete in the next World Championships in Japan.