Men finish fourth while women settle for fifth in Suriname
The Bahamas’ men and women senior national volleyball teams fell out of the medal picture over the weekend, wrapping up play at the 18th Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Senior Championships at the Anthony Nesty Sports Hall in Parimaribo, Suriname.
The men lost their semifinal contest to Barbados on Friday and then fell to Trinidad and Tobago in the bronze medal match on Saturday, ending the competition in fourth.
On Friday, they lost 25-23, 25-16, 23-25 and 25-22. Just like he did most of the tournament, Kyle Wilson led the way for The Bahamas. He had 21 points, 20 on kills and one block. Shonari Hepburn was the next highest scorer for The Bahamas with 11 points – eight kills, two service winners and a block. Byron Ferguson contributed 10 points – nine kills and a block.
Akeel Oxley had a game-high 22 points for Barbados, inclusive of 19 kills and three blocks. Akeil
Williams contributed 14 points on 11 kills, two blocks and a service winner, and Ahkeem Mayers added 13 points on 11 kills, a block and a service winner,
After squeezing out a first-set win, Barbados took control in the second set. The Bahamas couldn’t get any consistent momentum going until the third set. They avoided a three-set sweep and showed signs of life in the fourth, but Barbados stepped up when it needed to, scoring the final three points of the fourth set to close out the match.
At 22-22 in the fourth, The Bahamas threatened to even the match at two sets apiece, but Barbados responded to the pressure and scored the final three points to close out the match.
On Saturday, The Bahamas once again fell down two sets to none, and once again, they couldn’t recover. They lost to Trinidad and Tobago in the bronze medal match, 25-23, 25-19, 20-25 and 25-18.
Wilson was once again the top scorer for The Bahamas. He had 20 points on 18 kills and two service winners. Ferguson was the next highest scorer for The Bahamas with 13 points on 10 kills and three blocks. Hepburn had a dozen points for The Bahamas on eight kills and four blocks.
Marlon Phillip tied Wilson for game-high honors with 20 points for Trinidad and Tobago, all 20 on kills. Daynte Stewart added 19 points on 17 kills and two service winners.
Trinidad and Tobago were the aggressors throughout, taking the action to The Bahamas. After squeezing out a first-set win, they won comfortably in the second set and then bounced back strongly in the fourth after conceding the third.
Trinidad and Tobago won 53 of their 95 points on kills. They added eight blocks and four service winners. The Bahamas aided their cause with 30 errors.
The Bahamas scored 47 of their 85 points on kills. They also had nine blocks and two service winners. Trinidad and Tobago committed 27 errors.
The Bahamas’ women finished fifth overall, losing a tiebreaker with Barbados and host nation Suriname. All three teams finished with a 1-3 win/loss record during the group phase section of the tournament and The Bahamas was the odd team out, finishing with just five points. Barbados and Suriname went on to the semis, but both lost, and ended up playing for bronze.
In The Bahamas’ final game of the group stage competition, they fell in straight sets to Jamaica, 25-16, 25-21 and 25-22. The Bahamas’ only win of the week-long tournament came on opening day against host country Suriname. They won a marathon five-setter, 28-26, 26-24, 21-25, 22-25 and 15-13.
The men and women’s teams are scheduled to return to The Bahamas today.