Martinique blanks Angilla 3-0, eye gold medal match 


PARAMARIBO,  SURINAME, Sunday  June 16, 2013:  Martinique swept past Anguilla 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-16) to keep alive its chances of securing a spot in the gold medal of their  their second round NORCECA Men’s Group M qualifiers to third round of qualification for the 2014 FIVB World Volleyball Championship in Poland.


Going into the penultimate preliminary round-robin match at the Ismay Van Wilgen Sporthal, Martinqiue was level on five points from two matches with Guatemala while host Suriname led with maximum ten points.


This meant Martinique needed to win very convincingly to enhance its chances and led by 13 points from Brice Hardy-Dessources which included nine spikes and three blocks, and ten from Gregory Alpha, who also had nine spikes, the French-speaking islands achieved its goal in 57 minutes.


Aymeric Christine chipped in with eight points and Loris Christine, six in the win for Martinique which dominated its rival on spikes, 29-16, and on aces, 11-4 but were outdone on blocks 4-7.


Anguilla which was guilty of committing 31 errors to  Martinique’s 17 got a team-high 11 points from Sherwin Richardson, while Ricardo Gumbs got five and the duo of captain Ian Conner and Calvin Samuel, four each.


With the win, Martinique ended group play with ten points from two 3-0 wins over Anguilla and Guatemala, which meant the Central Americans needed to beat host  Suriname 3-0 in the final preliminary round encounter that followed to force the top two qualifiers to be determined by points differential ratio, ahead of the final on Sunday night from 9pm The two remaining teams in the group will play for bronze from 7pm.


Ian Conner, while admitting that his team was not happy to lose yet again, but quickly dispel any notions that it was because of being inferior to the opposing teams.


“We know we can compete with these teams, the difference for us is that we did not get our passes in while our preparations for tournament likes these will always be tough because of lack of proper facilities.”


He explained, “We trained mostly on outdoor facilities, while we compete in indoor tournaments, so the guys will take some time to adjust when we come to tournaments, and we don’t have that time, as was seen.”


Despite the win, Martinique captain David Lefaivre, who opted to rest his injuries in this match lamented the fact that his team had a chance to win each sets by wider margins, but did not make full use of their chances.


He added, “Unfortunately we now have to sit and see what happens with the final match between Suriname and Guatemala to know if we qualify for the final, which will give us a chance at qualification to the third round.”


Jason Liburd, Anguilla coach said while he would have hoped to at least win a set his team will take away the experience of playing at this level and hope to build on it.


“You have to remember, we are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to preparation due to lack of facilities, but the guys have the potential and we will continue to work hard,” ended Liburd.


Martinique’s Eddy Erialc, while visibly not that excited with the level of play of his team accepted some of the blame.


Erialc said, “Sometimes when you think a match is going to be very easy in your head as players, it is not that way on the court and you have many difficulties.


“We were too lazy at some points in the match and at this point it’s the coach who has to ask the players for better.”