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BARBADOS - volleyball - Co-operators General Insurance Volleyball Knockouts
Brief Volleyball deciders tonight
by Kenmore Bynoe Compliments of the Nation News
THE 2006 kings and queens of the Co-operators General Insurance Volleyball Knockouts will be crowned at the Wildey gym of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex tonight!
The all-important deciding games will be staged with the Ambi Toners meeting Consumer Guarantee Insurance Deacons at 6:30 p.m. in the women's division and old opponents Progressive battling defending champions, RBTT Deacons men at 8 p.m.
Deacons took both first games with the women stunning the previously unbeaten Toners in straight sets, while the men turned away Progressive in four sets. Games Two saw a remarkable turnaround in fortune as well as the score line with the Toners winning in three and Progressive triumphing in four.
Tonight's winners are extremely hard to predict since the volleyball ability of the four teams is unquestionable but it will be the "head" skills that will determine the champions. The teams at full trot could provide the fans with two exciting matches tonight.
Apart from of his coaching and motivational skills, Deacons' Andrew Culpepper is being sorely missed since fracturing his arm in a preliminary game. Culpepper was the 2005 knockout MVP.
One can confidently predict that in Culpepper's absence, Barbados' captain Elwyn Oxley and big man Andy Jordan will continue to excel for Deacons. The advantage will swing their way if George Skeete can shake off a poor second game and if the likes of Jamaal Nedd, Daran Gill and Kenwin Inniss can rise to the occasion of a championships final.
Balance of power
Another outstanding game from Progressive's Fabian Cox and Renier Grace will maintain the balance of power. Progressive will have to decide if to continue with the casually under-performing Adrian Price or to start with Shawn Grace who has come off the bench to star for his team.
The inexperience of setter Jamal Branch has hurt Progressive at critical junctures but the attacking prowess of Cox, Renier and Shawn is enough to carry Branch and his lapses. The supporting cast of Jason Griffith and the big Rene Archer could decide who pops the champagne tonight.
Deacons' women cannot match Toners if both teams are at their best. The last game saw the Toners' vaunted defence holding and Janelle Chase blasting Deacons repeatedly. With a host of experienced attackers at their disposal the Toners have a slight edge.
The craft of former Barbados captain Valmay Stapleton can upset the Toners if Deacons play a better passing game tonight.
Six-footers Julia Lewis and Fabia Greaves, as unpredictable as they are, are capable of destroying any volleyball team with their spikes. Lauren Whitehall coming off of the bench could also influence Deacons' chances.
Both Deacons and Toners have won the crown four times each. Deacons' men have taken the title 12 times to Progressive's nine victories.
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