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Collective effort driving Jamaica


KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 27, 2017 - There is a beauty about team effort; when one person is not on their game, someone is there to pick you up.


Power-hitting Tahleia Bishop is crediting this collective reliance on Jamaica’s success in winning two from two starts in the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Championship Qualifiers.


The Jamaicans shrugged off a determined challenge from Curacao here at the National Indoor Sports Centre, Independence Park Complex, on Thursday night with a 3-0 shut-out – 25-20, 25-20, 25-21.


Bishop registered a game-high 15 points, which included eight kills.


The overseas-based player noted that despite her outstanding effort, she was not on top of her game and thanked her teammates for cushioning her shortfalls.


“I think I passed better yesterday (Wednesday), so today I was kind of relying on my teammates to help me out in that aspect, just like leaning on them a little bit. But in terms of my serving and my attacking I was able to bring a lot to the team that way,” reasoned Thomas.


“So that’s the great thing, when one person is slacking in one area there’s always someone there to pick me up.”


Bishop, who also earned five points off her hard-to-return serves, noted that she had changed her strategy prior to the competition and worked overtime to get it up to that level.


“I completely changed my serve three days before the tournament ... so I went and practiced on my own to stitch it up,” she admitted.


Besides being a World Championship elimination, the tournament is also the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Women’s Championship. Trinidad and Tobago are the defending champions and they are already assured one of two spots going forward from this tournament to the Worlds.


The other spot will go to the team with the next highest ranking after this tournament.


Besides Thomas, Aiko Jones also stood tall for Jamaica with nine big kills featuring among her 12 points, while Breanna Atkinson also scored well with eight points, as well as Simone Asque and Danaisha Moss, with five points apiece.


Captain Christine Anthony led Curacao’s scoring with 12 points, including 11 kills, while short, but talented Samira Luis, was busy and eked out eight points. Lanky Jewengely Hart was another big contributor, with nine points, including eight kills.


“I’m very proud of us,” said Thomas. “We’ve been pretty nervous, honestly. This has been like our first competition together, so we’re slowly shaking up the nerves and I’m really proud of us for being able to pull out wins despite that.”


She added: “So we’re not at our best game, but collectively we’ve been able to pick up where others are lacking and really pull it out, which is great.”