ST CROIX, US Virgin Islands (CMC):
Barbados registered a resounding semi-final victory over Jamaica on Saturday night on their way to securing a place in the final of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Championships.
The Barbadians played against three-time defending champions Trinidad and Tobago in last night's final, after the Trinidadians also scored a huge semi-final triumph against the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), also on Saturday night.
Barbados needed just 70 minutes to blow away Jamaica in straight sets, 25-17, 25-20, 25-15 at the Richard Charles Gymnasium, while T&T trounced hosts USVI 25-16, 25-23, 25-14.
Barbados were led by Shari Matthews, who scored 17 points, while Anicia Wood finished with 10.
"Our all-round game was good tonight. We were passing, serving, attacking and defending well as a team," Barbados captain Thonya Joseph said.
Jamaica's attack never fired, however, and Lecia Brown was the best hitter with eight points, while Tracy-Ann Findlay got seven.
Captain Shedelky Hamilton-Barnes said her team never got their pre-game plan going.
"Coming into the match we had a game plan, but tonight (Saturday) we did not execute what was needed to get the win," she conceded.
"Our serving and passing was not up to mark, but I must commend Barbados for noticing our weaknesses and capitalising on them."
T&T, meanwhile, had no such problems as their captain, Krystle Esdelle, led from the front with 14 points in masterminding her side's win in just 79 minutes.
Lanky outside hitter Kelly-Anne Billingy chipped in with nine points and Sinead Jack and Channon Thompson got eight points each.
For the USVI, Valissia Brathwaite led with six points.
T&T coach Francisco Cruz said he was surprised by the straight sets win as his charges had made too many errors.
"I felt it was possible for them to get a set, so I had to make a few adjustments with my line-up and tried different options," he noted. "Finally one of our line-ups that we hardly used was working for us and it led us to victory."
In the fifth place playoff, Guadeloupe beat the Bahamas 25-17, 25-16, 23-25, 25-20.