T&T beach volleyballers Malika Davidson, left, and Ayana Dyette. Top T&T men’s beach volleyball pair Fabien Whitfield and Daneil Williams made it 12 straight local tournaments wins on the trot when they topped the second T&T Volleyball Federation national team selection qualifiers for the second round of NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualifiers on Monday night.
Following their victory in the eight-team first set of qualifiers a week ago with a 6-0 record, Whitfield and Williams again played unbeaten at the National Beach Volleyball Developmental Centre in Saith Park, Chaguanas, this time ending with a 3-0 record against the three other pairs that showed up.
With the matches being contested on a one set basis and first to 25 points, Whitfield and Williams, who claimed a second ever bronze medal finish on the NORCECA Tour when they placed third at the fifth stop of the Hickory Point Beach Sand Volleyball Complex in Tavares, Florida last month, brushed aside Hakeem Hernandez and Stephon Valley 25-6, Kareem Thomas and Tevin Edwards 25-15 and then battled past main rivals, Christian Francois and Kevin Rivers, 25-20.
Francois and Rivers took second with victories over Thomas and Edwards 25-23, and Hernandez and Valley 25-16. In the other match to avoid a 0-3 record, Thomas and Edwards defeated Hernandez and Valley 25-14.
Earlier in the semifinals, Whitfield and Williams overcame first round T&T Olympic qualifiers team-mates Josiah Abraham Eccles and Tevin Joseph 21-15 while Francois and Rivers battled past Thomas/Edwards 21-18.
Williams and Whitfield began the eight-team tournament by playing unbeaten in their four-team Pool A round-robin qualifiers with wins over Thomas/Edwards 21-19; Adriel Roberts/Hakeem Hernandez 21-6 and Marcus Moore and Nathaniel Noreiga 21-11 before earning a default quarterfinal win over David Thomas Jr and Colin Bernard
In the other Pool B, Francois and Rivers were equally as impressive by disposing off youngsters Josima Timothy/Dante Stewart by default (21-0); Thomas Jr/Bernard 21-15 and Eccles/Joseph 21-14 in the pool decider followed by a 21-12 defeat of Roberts/Hernandez in their quarterfinal.
Thomas and Edwards overcame Timothy/Stewart 21-15 while Eccles/Joseph ousted Moore/Noreiga 21-14.
The third and final qualifying tournament will be held next week, at the end of which the top two teams will be selected to represent T&T in the second round of Olympic Qualifiers carded for St Lucia later this year.
Today, the top T&T men’s pair leave for the St Lucia where they will contest the sixth stop of this year’s Norceca Beach Circuit.
Pan American Games participants, Ayana Dyette and Malika Davidson secured yet another win when the Women’s qualifying Tournament took place at Chaguanas also on Monday night.
With only three teams registered Dyette and Davidson, first year team-mates overcame Elki Phillip and Shenelle Gordon 21-18, 21-8, and Apphia Glasgow and La Teisha Joseph 21-14, 21-18 to end 2-0.
Josepht and Glasgow got second with a 1-1 mark via their 21-7, 21-10 defeat of Phillip/Gordon.
Today, Dyette/Davidson and Phillip/Gordon will also leave for St Lucia where they will contest the sixth stop of this year’s Norceca Beach Circuit.
The second qualifying event will be held at the same venue on Monday, and the third and final, next Thursday, also at Chaguanas at the end of which the top two teams will represent T&T at the second round of Women's Olympic Qualifiers carded for Jamaica.