All set for start of CAZOVA Senior Women Champs
President of the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JaVA) Rudolph Speid said the local girls are ready to dethrone Trinidad and Tobago and become the number one ranked Caribbean country.
Speid made his comments yesterday ahead today's start of the CAZOVA Senior Women Championships at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
Jamaica will oppose the US Virgin Island in the feature match starting at 8 p.m. Before that, Martinique challenge The Bahamas at 1 p.m., then Suriname play against Curacao at 3 p.m., to be followed by favourites Trinidad and Tobago against Guadeloupe at 6 p.m. The opening ceremony is set to begin at 5 p.m.
The eight participating teams have been placed into two groups. In Group D are The Bahamas, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago. In Group E are hosts Jamaica, Curacao, Suriname and US Virgin Island.
At the completion of the preliminary round, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals. The championships will run for six consecutive days, ending next Monday, July 31.
"The teams are in training already at the National Indoor Sports Centre and the control committee have checked the venue. Everything is in place for a wonderful and competitive tournament," Speid told The Gleaner yesterday.
Coach of Jamaica senior women's team Richard Chong said that the aim is to at least finish in second place.
"We expect to at least make the final and maintain our second-place ranking in CAZOVA and progress to the third round. With the change (new coach, new management) in the team we hope that we can create history at home, with the appropriate support." Chong said.
Coach of defending champions Trinidad and Tobago, Nicholson Drakes, said that his team will come and play some good volleyball, but won't underestimate any team:
"I expect that we'll come and play good volleyball, play to our level, don't underestimate any team and take each game one at a time. We know that there are some good teams in CAZOVA volleyball and at any time these teams can overthrow anybody and we're very mindful of this. So with the help of The Almighty, we're taking it day by day,." Drakes said.
The Jamaica team is: Simone Asque (captain), Kiara Irving, Cherie Thompson, Aiko Jones, Danaisha Moss, Sashalee Wallen, Kai Wright, Renae Temple, Tasha-Gaye Richards, Breanna Atkinson, Tahleia Bishop and Sasha-Lee Thomas. The assistant coach is Oneil Ebanks.
The championships' main sponsors include the Ministry of Sports, the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), Jamaica Tourist Board, Hi-Lite and Lifespan Water.