Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's women have advanced to the second round of the World Volleyball Championships qualifiers, which will be held in Nicaragua in May 2013.
The Jamaicans, dubbed the Riddim Girls, sealed their place in the next phase of the competition, after defeating Barbados 3-1 in the final of the four-team competition, which was held at the University of Technology on Friday.
Jamaica, who had earlier defeated Barbados in morning session, also recorded victories over Cayman Islands and Aruba in the competition. The Jamaicans registered 3-0 victories over Cayman Islands and Aruba, respectively. Lecia Brown, Cherie Thompson and Kamille Dwyer were Jamaica's most outstanding players during the championships.
A major accomplishment
Gatasheu Bonner, the Jamaica coach, said he was very delighted with his team's performance throughout the championships.
"We are feeling good because we have made a big achievement in this tournament by beating Barbados," said Bonner. "We had not beaten them in 12 years and we achieved that twice in one day and so this is a major accomplishment for the team."
Reflecting on his team's overall performance Bonner said: "I think that the team played well. They kept on improving on their performance with every game.
"This set of players is young and athletic and they only can get better," added Bonner said.
The Jamaicans will face Suriname, Nicaragua and Bermuda in the second round of the championships. The top two teams will advance to the final of the competition.
Bonner expects a tougher challenge in the second round.
"All the teams in the second round are good teams and so it is going to be tough, but I know that we will be up for the challenge," he said. "I know that we stand a pretty good chance of qualifying for the final round."