Defending Champs poise to retain CAZOVA Championship
COUVA, Trinidad, July 8, 2017 - Host and defending champion
Trinidad and Tobago reached its second straight final when they
overcame Haiti 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22) in semifinal
two of the 16th Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA)
Men’s Championship at the National Cycling Centre.
Coming off of three straight 3-2 round-robin pool wins for an
automatic semifinal spot, Trinidad and Tobago, champions in 2010
and 2014 stepped up its game to silence a very determined Haiti
Leading the way for the reigning champions was middle blocker
Mikheil Hoyte with 18 points, highlighted by 13 spikes and 5
blocks while Brandon Hoyte added 15, captain Ryan Stewart 13 and
Marlon Phillip 10 points all contributing to the victory.
For Haiti, Claude Antoine was the lone player in double figure
scoring with 11 points while Jacques-Antoine Frederic added
nine, Newsbornson Glezil got eight, and captain Irvens Benjamin,
seven in the loss.
Following three nervous wins before their home crowd, it was the
best showing in the tournament by the T&T players to date as
they outscored the Haitians on spikes 57-42, blocks 9-3 and
service aces 4-2.
However, Haiti was kept in the key not only by their fighting
spirit but with the help of the host country who committed 40
errors to the visitors, 27.
With the win, Trinidad and Tobago set up a finals showdown
against Martinique for the 16th CAZOVA title.
T&T’s Ryan Stewart speaking after the win said “our team played
very well and he was looking forward to a bigger effort in the
Haiti Captain Benjamin was quick to admit that his team took too
long to get into the right frame of mind and had a nervous start
in the game.
Yves Larrieux, Haiti coach indicated that his players were not
up to par for the match as their focus was not there, they lack
the experience at this level and was not confident.
A Jubilant Sean Morrison, TTO coach said, “the team was now
finding its top form and is better focused on getting the job
done. The final is a new game against Martinique and we will not
take it for granted that we defeated them in the preliminaries.
Team Martinique has a good offense so we must stay focused on
our game plan in order to retain the title”. He added, “I want
to thank the home crowd for their unfailing support”.
Martinique the 2008 champion will face Trinidad and Tobago on
Sunday from 4pm in the gold medal match, while Barbados meets
Haiti in the bronze medal match on Sunday from 2pm