COUVA, Trinidad and Tobago – Ten-time champions Barbados overcame a lethargic start to overcome Haiti 3-2 (22-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-13) last night in Pool E action of the 16th Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) at the National Cycling Centre.
With the win, Barbados joined Jamaica with a 2-0 round-robin records ahead of their top-of-the-table encounter Thursday night which will determine the automatic qualifier for the semifinals while the loser will contest the quarterfinals.
Haiti captain Irvens Benjamin said his team gave a good account of themselves.
“We were beaten in our first match, but today we had a good chance to beat a team like Barbados 3-0 but too many mistakes cost us,” he said.
“Our team is a young one so we will learn from this and hope to do much better tomorrow.”
Shawn Simpson, captain of the Barbados team which defeated 2012 winners Bahamas in five sets in their opener, said he was pleased with his team’s fighting spirit.
“We did not start well at all, but the guys never dropped their heads and if we can pull off wins by playing this ugly, then I can’t wait to see what will happen when we hit our stride,” he said.
Team coach Andrew Culpepper said the team was yet to play at their best. “We have not played a good team game as yet and have managed to get by on individual performances so we need to put in a better showing,” he said.
Despite the loss, their second in a row, Yves Larriuex said his players played well.
“We had a great possibility for a 3-0 win, but we dropped our concentration and in the fifth set we were unfortunate with what I think was a bad call at 13-13. It was a crucial mistake which cost us the game,” he said.
Thursday night in their final round-robin match, Barbados played Jamaica while Bahamas battled Haiti earlier in the evening.
Wednesday Jamaica defeated Bahamas 3-0 to move to the top of Pool E. The Jamaicans played a solid all-round game to win 25-18, 25-19, 25-18 and push the Bahamas to the brink of elimination. They served, passed and block well to go 2-0 following their opening win against Haiti on Tuesday.
Hosts and defending champions maintained their unbeaten start with a 3-2 win over Curacao in their Pool D opener. The Ryan Stewart-led Trinidadians again had to dig deep for a 22-25, 25-22, 28-30, 25-21, 15-9 triumph over a spirited Suriname unit.
With the victory, T&T, winners in 2010 and 2014, now have a 2-0 record and top spot in the pool while Suriname dropped to 1-1, the same as Martinique while Curacao are 0-2.