#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#AFTER a week of intense competition during the tournament, the Public Primary Schools Sports Association crowned Sandilands Primary as the boys and girls volleyball champions on Friday at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
#Stephen Dillet won 12-15, 15-14 and 10-0 over Sybil Strachan Primary for the boys’ title, while Sandilands Primary prevailed over Cleveland Eneas Primary in two straight sets, 15-8 and 15-9.
#Head coach Margaret Albury was more excited about the victory than her players from Stephen Dillet, who stayed composed throughout the tournament.
#“They showed me, even when the ball was going out, they brought it back in and they got the three hits,” Albury said. “I’m pleased with their effort. I am ecstatic about their performances. I couldn’t ask for a better performance.”
#For Greer Thompson, the coach of Sybil Strachan, they were not as focused as she wanted them to be.
#“I think they played well, but in the last half, they got their minds out of the game. They were not focused and that is what caused us the game,” Greer said. “All in all, I think they did well. Thanks to God and to my mommy.”
#Thompson was referring to Linda Thompson, who passed away a few weeks ago. She noted that she tried to stay focused because the tournament was coming up, but it was a little hard for her knowing that she was still grieving the loss of her mother.
#For the third-place prize, Centreville Primary held off Sadie Curtis 9-15, 9-15 and 10-8.
#“In the semi-finals, we got a little nervous because we had to play so hard,” said Centreville’s first year coach Rashad Cunningham. “I was so happy with the way they came out and played. Centreville is not known for its athletic prowess, so it’s good that we can take something to our school to enjoy in a more positive light.”
#Vashon Armbrister, the head coach of Sandilands Primary, said it was a dream come true for his girls because if anybody saw what they looked like at the start of practice, they would not have anticipated them being the last team standing.
#“The girls did an excellent job,” Armbrister pointed out. “We started practicing in January, but it was a struggle. The girls could not bump and they couldn’t serve. So every day possible, we worked with the girls and they gave it their best effort and this is the result of it. I’m extremely proud of the girls.”
#He said he now believes in the quote that “practice does make perfect” because their performance was above their expectations and the entire Sandilands Primary School will ensure that they come back next year bigger and better to defend their title.
#In falling short of being the champions, Mariska Thompson said her team beat themselves.
#“My top players got upset, so I told them they have to be calm, whether they are leading or not,” Thompson stated. “You must be calm and composed and believe that you can win. So it wasn’t that the other team was better, it was just that my team lost focus.”
#It was another battle in the consolation third place game, as Garvin Tynes emerged on top of EP Roberts with a hard fought 15-6, 6-15, 10-8 decision.
#Shatia Seymour, who assisted head coach Janice Williams, said their Garvin Tynes team did excellent.
#“We lost the game to come into the championship, but they came back and did what they had to do,” Seymour said. “They served, they passed and they did very well.”
#Despite not getting into the final, Seymour said they will celebrate the third place because they earned it.
#Just about all of the teams participated in the tournament that got started on Monday and Tuesday with the elimination games for the girls and Wednesday and Thursday for the boys. Friday was designed for the quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals.
#The New Providence Volleyball Association and its referees association conducted all the games. Next up for the association, headed by Latoya Bain, track and field, April 26-28 at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium.