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BARBADOS - volleyball
10th Caribbean volleyball championships
Bajans Roll Over St Lucia - Saturday 03, July-2004
Acid, brutal, cruel, dismissive!
One would have to go down the entire alphabet of adjectives to adequately describe how eight-times Caribbean Kings Barbados stormed into the semifinals of the 10th Caribbean volleyball championships with a mauling of OECS champions, St Lucia at Garfield Sobers Sports Complex on Thursday night.
The Bajans took just one hour to destroy St Lucia, 25-15, 25-13, 25-11, to book a predictable direct trip to today’s semifinals with the game looking like a mismatch between a primary school cricket champion and Australia.
In spite of playing with their customary passion and spirit, the St Lucians were only competitive for the first five minutes of each set.
The best effort for St Lucia came from Dayne Williams and captain Kervin Jean who scored six kills each.
In preparation for today’s match which will be between the winner of yesterday’s quarter-final’s clash between Martinique and St Lucia, coach Ludger Niles gave extended runs to all of his reserve players.
Barbados used a different line-up than the one which was used in the first two games with captain Elwyn Oxley switching back to the left side to allow debutant Shawn Simpson his first start on the right side.
Gregory Burke started in the middle with Jamal Nedd being the other middle, Grace on the other left side and setter Dale Addison making up a squad where Oxley was the only player under six feet.
St Lucia competed for the first five points before Barbados rushed to 8-5at the first technical time-out.
Grace was in a no-nonsense mood as he blasted kill after kill to keep the crowd screaming.
Oxley and Nedd contributed as usual in attack but they looked more like overzealous immigration officers in repeatedly denying any entry over the net by the visitors.
Simpson, an obvious crowd favourite, pounded two kills to bring tremendous cheers from the hyped up crowd.
Even so, nothing pleased the spectators more than when a third ball was played too close to the net on Barbados’ side and setter Addison who is always keen to show his spiking ability thundered the ball into the head of back court defender Danny Wilson knocking him onto his backside as the ball ricocheted into the stands.
Former junior captain Price looked the part when he replaced Grace in the second set while Jason Griffith and Daran Gill maintained the height and blocking factor when they replaced Burke and Nedd in that set also.
Price came in for Grace at 20-11, and 16-year old Alain London replaced Addison at 21-11.
With Barbados’ reserves being too strong for the OECS currency, the spectators began to file out of the Gym in the later part of the third set pleased with Barbados’ third successive win in the preliminaries and glad to get their first early night since the competition started on Sunday.
Barbados ended as the only unbeaten team to top Group A followed by Bahamas, St Lucia and the eliminated Guadeloupe. Trinidad and Tobago topped Group B followed by Martinique, Jamaica and the excluded Caymans.
The other men’s semifinals will be played today at four with Trinidad and Tobago meeting the winner between Jamaica and the Bahamas. Barbados will meet their opponents in the eight o’clock feature game.
Golden high - Tuesday 06, July-2004
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