Slow-starting Guadeloupe rally big to claim spot in semis
KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 29, 2017 - Guadeloupe overcame a very
slow start and a massive error count to rally from behind and
beat Curacao 3-2 in their International Volleyball Federation (FIVB)
Second round World Championship Qualifier on Saturday night here
at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
The French-speaking territory basically sauntered out of the
blocks and appeared to be easy pickings after being blown away
25-15 by the talented Curacao.
In that game only, the winners piled up more of their 53 errors,
a stark contrast to the Curacao team, which gave up 29.
This Qualifier is also the Caribbean Association of Volleyball
Associations (CAZOVA) Women’s Championship, of which Trinidad
and Tobago are the defending champions.
Eight nations are participating and Trinidad and Tobago are
already guaranteed qualification to Third Round World
qualifying. The highest ranked team in this championship other
than Trinidad and Tobago will secure that other spot to the
NORCECA play-offs that will be held between September and
Trinidad and Tobago will host one of three zones, which will
comprise four teams apiece. The top two, six in all, will
advance to 2018’s World Championship in Japan.
Twice before, Curacao had toyed with death, only to survive a
five-setter. This time there would be no turning back as
Guadeloupe tightened the screws.
Gradually, Guadeloupe slowly begun to find their rhythm and the
sequence of plays got longer and more competitive, through some
excellent defending by both teams. Importantly,
their big player, Leslie Figere-Turiaf, started finding her
hitting range and they tied the match 1-1 with a 25-18 second
set victory, fell behind again after losing the third 25-21.
Thereafter, there would be no turning back as Guadeloupe
maintained their momentum and composure, while the pressure
started to tell on Curacao, and held their nerves while coming
up big to win the remaining sets 25-22, 15-12.
The Guadeloupe contingent and its captain, Delphine Stephens,
celebrated the win wildly.
She said: “I don’t have any words , I’m really happy that we got
past this step because it was very difficult for us seeing that
we lost our first two games, so now we are back in the game very
“We’re onto the semi-finals … we will go into the semi-finals
how we are, as you see, happy and motivated like today.”
Big-hitting Figere-Turiaf led Guadeloupe’s scoring with 19
points, which included six big kills, while Sandra Ramier
slammed five kills from middle front in her eight points to
provide backup support. Both players equally shared six blocks
and Amandine Mauricette chipped in with seven points.
Curacao would have been left disappointed after huge attacking
contributions from captain Christine Anthony and Samira Luis,
who scored 25 and 21 points, respectively. Anthony rained down
all her points in kills, while Luis spiked 18.
Curacao’s head coach, Rigolette Thode, labelled it a ‘tough
“A tough loss,” he said. “But if a team has 21 bad serves you
can’t win a game. In such a competition if you have 21 bad
serves you can’t win a game. I think the girls had some pressure
on them by serving and at home when we practice serving we were
serving very good. But it’s disappointing, it’s disappointing.”
Thode continued: “We have the team to go further but the serve
killed us, the serve killed us, it killed us.
“Congratulations to Guadeloupe, they played a very good game.”
Guadeloupe’s defence played big down the stretch and despite
supporting efforts from Sherdelys Muerlens (eight points) and
Jewengely Hart (seven), Curacao were never allowed to regain
their form against a team that kept growing in confidence and
“Today we were all together as a team, compared to the other
days when we were this one over so, that one over so and today
we just pulled together,” said Stephen.
“We played better than the rest of the games because we put
together what the coaches wanted us to do for the start and that
was the reason we won today,” added the Guadeloupe captain.
They will now meet hosts Jamaica in this evening’s semi-final,
beginning at 8:00 p.m. Trinidad and Tobago will meet Suriname in
the other semi-final, which is set to start at 6:00 p.m.