Martinique Wins Classic
SANTA CRUZ, Aruba, November 27, 2016: Martinique saved two match
points en route to winning a five-set thriller and securing the
final promotion place in the second round of the CAZOVA
qualifying series for the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Volleyball
The lowest ranked of the four teams in the Group B round-robin
tournament, nosed out Haiti 17-25, 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 16-14 in
a pulsating contest which has to go down as a classic.
After being ahead for the majority of the deciding set,
Martinique lost four straight points with a 12-10 lead to find
themselves staring down the barrel of two match points. However
the 12th ranked team in the CAZOVA responded in tremendous
fashion to capture the last four and claim a sensational victory
in two hours and 24 minutes.
Martinique had won three straight points from 20-22 down in the
previous set to come within two points of advancing from the
third and final first-round qualifying tournament in the zone.
However, the 7th-ranked Haitians reeled off the last three
points to force the only five-setter of this two-day tournament.
After both teams had lost to Suriname in straight sets and
recovered miraculously to defeat Aruba, Haiti seemed well on the
way to the next phase when the completely dominated the first
set of the do-or-die contest. Martinique was, however, a
completely different outfit when they answered the bell for the
second set and both teams kept the fans riveted to their seats
until the final whistle.
Coach Rene Melinard stated, “it was a final for Martinique; we
came here for qualification and we did it.” Martinique's
captain, Soraya Yazza, confessed, “it was a very difficult match
mentally and we are very happy.”
Haiti's captain expressed that the many errors made cost them
the match. Haiti's coach, Jean Michel Frederic, stated,
“unfortunately we could not have closed it out when we had the
match points, but that is competition.”
The lowest ranked team will join the highest in the second round
as Suriname, rated fourth in CAZOVA, won the tournament even
before taking the court for the last match against Aruba.
Curacao and United States Virgin Islands (USVI) advanced from
Group A in St Croix in early August while Guadeloupe and Bahamas
booked their tickets two weeks ago in Grand Cayman from Group C.
The second round will take place in July 2017 and will also
include automatic qualifiers Trinidad and Tobago and hosts
Jamaica, ranked first and second in CAZOVA, respectively.
The next edition of the Women’s World Championship will be
contested in Japan in 2018 and NORCECA will have six qualifiers
plus the defending champions, the United States.