Captain Kiune Fletcher, Shanice Cottoy and Desiree Donald, all outside hitters, combined for 40 points to lead six-time winners Trinidad and Tobago to a 3-0 victory Curacao in their 2019 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior Women’s Championship quarterfinal here at the La Ville Riviere-Salee Palais Des Sport on Wednesday.
Led by Fletcher’s 18 points, which included 11 spikes and five aces and Cottoy’s nine spikes, T&T won 25-20, 25-14, 28-26 to set up a semifinal clash with US Virgin Islands Thursday for a spot in Friday’s gold medal match.
Donald added eight points while Zhane Marie Lezama and Jordana Simon chipped in with five points apiece.
Overall, it was a much improved showing from T&T against a nervous Curacao, whom they dominated 28-10 on spikes, 9-5 on blocks and 17-9 on service aces.
However, Curacao were able to stay in the match courtesy the 36 errors of T&T compared to their 24 committed.
For Curacao, outside hitter Liz Rossen was the lone scorer in double-figures with ten points while Arjenette Wemet-Bemardus got four.
Speaking afterwards, T&T coach Nicholson Drakes said the team had a much better all-round match than in their previous encounters. He explained that he did not call a time out when his team struggled to close out the third set because he wanted them to learn how to work out tough situations which may come ahead for themselves.
Fletcher meanwhile added, “The game was more complicated than we would have liked. We had good momentum coming into the match, but we gave away too many points and allowed Curacao in the match. We are now into the semifinals and I think the win will help our confidence another level.”
Men’s captain Joshua Persaud is also confident his team will get past Curacao in their semifinal from 2 pm today.
Persaud and his team-mates advanced to the semifinals directly after topping their three-team round Pool D series with wins over host Martinique and US Virgin Islands.
Curacao, on the other hand, ended second in Pool C after losing to three-time defending champions and five-time winners Barbados and defeating Guadeloupe.
Speaking ahead of the semifinal yesterday, Persaud said, “We have been doing a lot of preparations on and off the court and looking at the performance of the Curacao team in their win over US Virgin Islands, I don’t expect our task to be easy.
“Curacao is a very good team and we just have to come out and execute and hopefully we will get the job done and secure a spot in the final.”