TRINIDAD AND Tobago were crowned champions of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Federation (CAZOVA) Men’s Beach Volleyball tournament following a nerve-wracking final against Jamaica at Saith Park, Chaguanas, yesterday.
The hosts owed much to the duo of Daniel Williams and Fabien Whitfield, as they won a deciding “Golden Set” to clinch the championship, following a one-all stalemate with the Jamaicans.
Under the early afternoon sun at the Saith Park Beach Volleyball Facility, Williams and Whitfield put the hosts in front in the final, beating Jamaica’s B team of Donovan Richards and Christopher Walters 21-10, 21-15.
But the Jamaican A team of Mark Lewis and Ryck McKenzie responded by defeating TT’s B team of Abraham Eccles and Tevin Joseph, 21-15, 21-13, levelling the tie.
However, Williams and Whitfield came through for the hosts, beating the Jamaican top pair of Lewis and McKenzie 15-12 in the “Golden Set,” setting off wild celebrations among home supporters. A relieved Whitfield said they had always expected Jamaica would be the team to stand in their way.
“The Jamaicans are a very good team so we had to be on top of our game,” he said following the win. “We had a great game to win all of our points in complex one, which we did mostly and also we had a very good defensive game.”
Earlier yesterday, TT marched into the final via a 2-0 semi- final shutout of the US Virgin Islands (USVI). Williams and Whitfield rolled over the USVI pair of Carlos Roza Jnr and Edward Peter Jnr, 21-13, 21-8.however, Joseph and Eccles had to work harder before stopping Bradley Reading-Connors and Gustavo Cintron, 21-16, 21-18.
The Jamaicans defeated Curacao in the semi-final by the same margin. Richards and Walters won at 12 and 16, while Lewis and McKenzie closed off the tie with a 21-18, 21-15 win. Curacao won the bronze medals, beating a tired USVI 2-0. Barbados were fifth and Suriname sixth,
Final Placings - Champions Trinidad and Tobago; Runners- up Jamaica; 3. Curacao; 4. USVI; 5. Barbados; 6.
Suriname; 7. Guadeloupe; 8. Cayman Islands; 9. Aruba; 10. Haiti; 11. Bahamas; 12. Martinique; 13. Bonaire; 14.Turks and Caicos Islands.