Trinidad & Tobago make history with qualification to Japan
Port of Spain, Trinidad, October 17, 2017 – Trinidad & Tobago
became the first ever country from the Lesser Antilles to
qualify to an FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship.
The Calypso Girls as they are known among their peers in the
CAZOVA region of NORCECA forced the more experienced Mexico to a
tie-breaker before succumbing in the match to decide the
supremacy in Group C qualifier to Japan 2018.
It has been a long process to assemble a capable squad in a
country dominated by soccer and athletics besides cricket and
NORCECA development plan running for several years and focused
on National Federations Category I and II, has played a key role
in that approach as the sport continues expanding its popularity
in the region in both volleyball and beach volleyball.
Cuban-born Francisco Cruz, who coached the Dominican Republic’s
team for a few years, has been at the helm of the side since
2008 trying to create love for the sport and at the same time a
competitive team that now dominates the Caribbean.
Cruz has been scouting players all over the two islands that
form the country and has been able to put together a group of
big and athletic women who still need some polish but hit as
hard as anybody.
They are error-prone but will impress with their size and
muscular bodies led by the veteran and versatile Krystle Esdelle,
one lefty with terrific power who can perform as setter and
opposite, and outside hitters Channon Thompson and Darlene
“We have dreamed with this for a long time,” Cruz said.
“Hopefully this achievement generates more support to our
program from the government and the private agencies.” Cruz
“Our program has been designed to Japan 2018 and getting the
ticket comes as a big prize for all the girls who have struggled
to keep playing volleyball through the years,” Cruz said.
The six teams from NORCECA qualified to the FIVB Women’s World
Championship are Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico,
Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and current world champions
United States who received and automatic ticket.