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Defending champions T&T make auspicious start


KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday July 26, 2017 - Defending champions Trinidad and Tobago sounded a loud warning to their rivals in the 2017 Round Two International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Championship Qualifiers, when they pulverised Guadeloupe 3-0 in Group D action on Wednesday’s opening day of competition.


The tournament, comprising eight teams, is also the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Championship and all games are being played at the National Indoor Sports Centre, Independence Park Sports Complex.


In a very authoritative display, the Trinidad and Tobago team blasted out of the blocks to pulverise the French-speaking Caribbean territory 25-8 in the first set, which lasted a mere 17 minutes.


Despite improvements by their rivals, Trinidad and Tobago wasted little time and effort as they maintained high standards on the way to closing out the match 25-17, 25-14 at the National Indoor Sports Centre, Independence Park Complex.  


Channon Thompson led the scoring for T&T with 13 points, while Krystle Esdelle (12), Sinead Jack (10) and Darlene Ramdin (8) were the other leading contributors.


Esdelle and Ramdin were particularly efficient at the net, slamming in nine and seven kills, respectively.


Sandra Ramier was the highest scorer for Guadeloupe, winning eight points.


Otherwise, statistical comparisons were basically non-existent and Trinidad and Tobago thundered home a massive 75 winners, while their opponents could only muster 39 in the one-way traffic.


“Overall, I’m satisfied with the performance,” said Nicholson Drakes, head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago team. “We still have one or two errors to clean up, one or two things to make sure we’re on top of.”


Trinidad and Tobago have already qualified for the Third Round of the CAZOVA World Cup Qualifiers and they will host one of the groups.

Nicholson said Wednesday’s match presented the luxury of resting key players.


“I knew the level of the opposition, so I took the opportunity to introduce some other players and rest others,” he said.


“We’re taking it step by step in stages and looking at what we need to deal with, what we need to implement and as the tournament continues we’ll look to make the necessary adjustments,” added Nicholson.