T&T coach Nicholson Drakes has included four newcomers to his senior national women’s volleyball team which served off their 22nd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games campaign against host Mexico last night at the Cardoba Arena. This will be the “Calypso Spikers”, six-time Caribbean champions (1998, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014) second straight CAC Games for the T&T women after ending fourth on debut, four years ago in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico following a four sets loss to Costa Rica in the bronze medal match.
The newcomers are Malika Davidson along with Under-23 trio Sakile Grannum, Maya Roberts and middle-blocker, Kaylon Cruickshank, who was part of the senior team at the Continental Championship in Omaha, earlier this year without much court time. The rest of the team to be led by veteran Kelly-Anne Billingy includes Jalicia Ross-Kydd, Sinead Jack, Marisha Herbert, Darlene Ramdin, libero Courtnee-Mae Clifford, Makila York and Channon Thompson, who was voted as the “Most Valuable Player”, “Best Server” and “Best Spiker” after leading T&T past Jamaica 25-12, 25-13, 25-12 in the 15th Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Championship final on August 10 at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo.
The players who were part of the team for the CAZOVA Championship win and not heading to Mexico are Renele Forde and Rheeza Grant due to injury, and Abby Blackman (beach volleyball duties). In Veracruz, the “Calypso Spikers” will compete in a very tough Pool B round-robin series against 2010 silver medal winners Puerto Rico, bronze medallist Costa Rica and host Mexico while Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela and defending champions Dominican Republic are in Pool A. Today, T&T will Puerto Rico followed by Costa Rica on Monday to end round-robin pool play in the eight-team tournament ahead of the playoffs.
WOMEN’s Grouping and Fixtures
Pool A: Cuba, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela
Pool B: Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Mexico, T&T
Puerto Rico vs T&T, 2pm
Venezuela vs Cuba, 4pm
Colombia vs Dominican Republic, 7pm
Mexico vs Costa Rica, 9pm
Venezuela vs Colombia, 2pm
T&T vs Costa Rica, 4pm
Cuba vs Dominican Republic, 7pm
Mexico vs Puerto Rico, 9pm
Classification 5th—8th semifinals
Main Draw semifinals:
Classification 7th/8th, 2pm
Classification 5th/6th, 4pm
Third place, 7pm
T&T Women’s V-Ball squad
Kelly-Anne Billingy (captain), Joelicia Ross-Kydd, Channon Thompson, Sinead Jack, Marisha Herbert, Darlene Ramdin, Malika Davidoson, Courtnee-Mae Clifford (libero), Makila Yorke, Sakile Grannum, Maya Roberts, Kaylon Cruickshank.
Nicholson Drakes (coach),
Macsood Ali (assistant coach),
Peer Nasseir (manager)