T&T one victory away from World Championships


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, July 18, 2014 - Trinidad and Tobago are now just one victory away from a place in the Women’s Volleyball Championships are beating Costa Rica 25-22, 25-15, 25-21 in the NORCECA Playoff Tournament Friday night at Sports & Physical Education Centre of the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies.


It was the third straight-set triumph from as many matches in the round-robin competition for the five-time Caribbean champs.  And they will if they beat Mexico in the final match of the tournament on Sunday night, they will capture the 24th and final place in the World Championships, which takes place in Italy from September 23-October 12.


Costa Rica is the only country in this five-nation playoff, also involving Panama and Nicaragua, with World Championship experience. But they would not be competing in their third straight edition as they had lost their only other match to date – against Mexico in the first match of the competition on Wednesday night.


None of their players was able to score in double figures, while Krystle Esdelle had 14 spike winners to lead the way for T&T with 15 points. Channon Thompson scored one point less in the 83-minute encounter.

The hosts were completely dominant in kills (37-22) and blocked shots (12-7).


“I think this was probably one of the better games we have played in a very long time as a team” said skipper Kelly Billingy, who pointed out that it was only the second time that T&T had ever beaten Costa Rica in straight sets.


Coach Nicholson Drakes stated: “We are moving forward to Sunday (against Mexico) very confident. As I said before, I believe my team could win this tournament, but we need to be focused, we need concentrate more and believe more.”


Costa Rican coach Horacio Bastit stated T&T took advantage of “the strength they have at the net.” Unfortunately the objective that we had to qualify for the World Championship is gone. We have to keep our heads up and finish this tournament.”