Against the run of play, Phoenix Security Services Carlton were able to maintain a winning 3-2 grip against University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds in the best of five sets of the Goddard Enterprises Limited Division One Volleyball League action last night.
Played at the Wildey Gymnasium, UWI in search of their first victory for the 2017 season, got off to a good start by winning the opening set but were unable to stop Carlton who took the contest 22-25, 25-14, 17-25, 25-18 and 15-9 in a two hour and 14 minutes long battle.
UWI had a more than capable team to possibly build on that 1-0 momentum, but the opposition remained a constant silhouette to their every attacking move, which forced the match-up into a fifth and decisive set.
Coached by John Stuart, UWI broke that 1-1 deadlock by securing the third set by eight points to take a 2-1 lead.
After reaching a six-point advantage (16-10) at the second mandatory break, UWI continued from where they left off compliments an ace served by Tenielle Chapman.
However, Carlton were able to put three shots past UWI’s defence led by the hard-hitting Ayesha Maycock, which cut the deficit by four (13-17). But with Afiya Taylor and Thea Jones, in particular, feeding Sharon Bovell a few ‘hit me’ balls, combined with great service from Dania Hamilton and Sherece Austin, there were particular plays and set pieces that allowed Blackbirds to fly comfortably to a 25-17 win in the third set.
The fourth set got off to a competitive start with the scores being tied 5-5 when Maycock once again in action was able to end the deadlock to give Carlton a 6-5 lead, as they went on to claim the next two points through a failed return by Hamilton of UWI and a kill shot by Tressan Gordon for an 8-5 edge.
It was almost a case of déjà vu for UWI who led 20-13 in the third set, forcing Carlton’s coach Michael Brathwaite to call time-out. Fast forward to the fourth set, Carlton led 20-14 when UWI were forced to call a time-out.
Unfortunately, UWI were unable to tidy up on their mistakes after the timeout. Carlton attackers Maycock and Rhea Bryant, in particular, were granted enough room at the top of the nets to smash, which tied the match 2-2 and resulted in a fifth set decider.
The scores in that decisive set fluctuated as Carlton came from behind (3-6) to command an 8-6 lead, and eventually, the scores were tied 8-8 to reach a deadlock situation. Carlton were the ones breathing slightly better as Bovell with a big swing sent the ball out of bounds to give the opposition a one-point advantage (9-8) before the mandatory switching to opposite sides of the court.
Following the court exchange, Carlton were able to score six points compared to one by UWI for a hard-fought victory.
In the second women’s game played, defending queens, Pan America Life Insurance Warrens came from a first game down to defeat Chargers convincingly 13-25, 25-14, 26-24 and 25-14 for a 3-1 triumph.
Meanwhile, in the lone men’s game yesterday, Cawmere buried former kings Progressive in straight sets 25-10, 25-22 and 31-29 in a match that had several attacking plays. It was the best of the best coming up against each other on the opposite side of the nets with the giant smashes of Fabian Cox and Akeem Payne for Progressive rivalling national captain Shawn Simpson and former Jamaican national player Mark Lewis for Cawmere who won the bulk of the points on attack.