Defending champions Deacons were once again unstoppable as they repeated as double crown queens and kings of the 2020 Goddard Enterprises Limited Lower Division Volleyball League Competition.
Even though the tournament is not yet over, both Deacons women and men are in unassailable positions in the league standings and yesterday at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Oldbury, St. Philip, they both emerged victorious once again.
Deacons women last evening extended their unbeaten record to eight with a total of 22 points. Chargers Club in the second position also played eight matches, lost three and accounted for 18 points in the standings while Phoenix Security Carlton in third so far have scored 12 points from seven games (four wins and three losses).
During their eighth match of the season yesterday evening at Oldbury, Deacons coached by Pernell Blunte and Sheldon Roach made light work of Pan American Insurance Warrens 25-15, 25-14 in the two best of three sets showdown.
Dressed in their traditional green shirts, Deacons led by a commanding six points (15-9) at the second technical time out of the opening set.
Warrens struggled with their serves, returns and on many occasions placed the ball out of bounds even when not under significant pressure. While Deacons also had their moments of error, they were very few compared to Warrens.
Down 23-12, Warrens called time out and on resumption, they accounted for two points following consecutive failed returns from Deacons. But that did not faze Deacons in any way as they had a clear stranglehold from early and went on to register a win during the opening set.
Warrens had enough of the thumping and decided to dish out some of their own medicine in the second set. Outfitted in orange and black, Warrens got off to a quick and fiery start when veteran player Lisa Austin served for four straight points as the Deacons side were forced to call a timeout. On resumption Warrens continued from where they left off until Deacons registered their first point of the match (1-5). But it was Warrens who ensured they led by five points 8-3 when the first of two technical breaks was called during that stanza.
After being seemingly in control, the game suddenly shifted momentum when Deacons came from five points down (7-12) to level the scores 12-12 thanks to some wonderful serves by one of Deacon’s top players, Irecka Louis. From there onwards, the defending queens went on to lead 16-13 and never looked back as former Barbados player Tamar Maynard also set an example and helped Deacons to their second division title.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY after the match, Blunte said with limited match practice because of the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s tournament was tough for the defending queens.
“This season was rough in terms of COVID-19. There was no match practice – well they had volleyball before COVID-19, before we played the knockout and won – but you had that whole period of a month and a half where we weren’t playing any volleyball at all. So, those couple games back out were very rough. I still don’t think individually we were playing to the best of our ability but it was an overall team effort,” Blunte said.
He added: “But the team knows the goal, they played hard for it and they played together, they had each other’s back when they made mistakes.”
For the division two men, Deacons were ready and eager to go against Barbados Defence Force but that match never materialised. The soldiers only had three players present and needed to field six players on the court. After 15 minutes grace period referee Anthazia Mason called Deacons players to the court and rewarded them the match by default.
Deacons men have only dropped one of nine matches for their 23 points. Foundation United contested ten games, won seven, lost three and registered 20 points for second place. Chargers from nine games were successful in seven, lost two and had a score of 19 points.