Davis pleased with volleyballers' effort
Jamaica's under-19 volleyball coach Steve Davis said even though the team did not achieve its objective of qualifying for the World Championship, it created the impression it wanted to at the just concluded NORCECA under-19 continental championship in Havana, Cuba.
Davis said he is convinced that the team has what it takes to compete with the best in the world.
"If you understand volleyball in our region, NORCECA, fifth place is great. We are a bit disappointed because we could have beaten Nicaragua (quarter-final). I don't want to complain but some decisions could have gone our way, but we went there to create an impression and we did that.
"We had to be learning on the spo, but the guys adjusted well and I am so proud of them, and now I am convinced that we can compete with the rest of the world with more effort. I am proud of the guys, and I am prepared to keep them together and do what is necessary to ensure we go forward. But this is really encouraging for us," he told The Gleaner.
The Jamaicans defeated the Dominican Republic 3-1 (12-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-17) in the fifth-place play-offs to end the championship with their heads held high. They finished third in Group B with five points.
They lost their first two games, losing 3-0 to Mexico before suffering a similar loss to Cuba in their second match. But they ended the first round with a 3-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda to secure a place in the quarter-finals.
In the quarter-final, they lost 3-0 to Nicaragua, going down 28-26, 25-16, 28-26 in a tough match against their Spanish-speaking counterparts.
They then defeated Costa Rica 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 27-25) in a decider to determine the play-off make-up for fifth place, and the victory over the Costa Ricans set them up against the Dominican Republic, who stopped Antigua and Barbuda.
The team then beat the Dominican Republic over four sets to seal an unprecedented fifth place at the championship.