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Thompson fires Calypso Spikers past Dominica
France-based Channon Thompson scored a match-high 20 points as host T&T “Calypso Spikers” crushed Dominica 25-16, 25-7, 25-9 in their opening Third Round of the 2018 FIVB World Championship qualification, the NORCECA Continental Women’s Pool C qualifiers at the National Cycling Centre in Balmain, Couva, on Friday night.
Thompson, the “Most Valuable Player” awardee at the 16th Senior Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) in Kingston, Jamaica in July/August tallied ten spikes, nine aces and one block while Turkey-based Sinead Jack added 14 points on eight spikes, one block and five service aces for T&T.
Vice-captain Jalicia Ross-Kydd, captain Krystle Esdelle and Darlene Ramdin, the latter two who are based in Europe as well, chipped in with eight, seven and five points, respectively in the 55-minute contest.
Speaking after the lopsided contest, Esdelle said she was very pleased with the win.
“I am very satisfied with the result. Technically speaking, our communication was impressive, we didn’t let anything get us down; if we lost a ball we kept on going and kept focused. We have many goals this weekend and we have to maintain moving. We will build on what we did today to continue with a powerful service and play hard; we won’t give up.”
In general, it was a dominant display by the Francisco Cruz-coached host team as it held a huge advantage of 36-4 in attacks, as well as 18-2 in aces and 3-1 in blocking.
However, the T&T women would not have been impressed by their 25 errors committed to Dominica’s 18 as they looked ahead to matches against Costa Rica last night and Mexico, today.
Cruz said, “We missed many serves because we are not adjusted to the court yet. My athletes have a higher game level than this one; the thing is that our opponent did not challenge us.
This victory adds, but tomorrow is a whole new game. I’ve been waiting for a long time for my players to have such good attitude; they have transformed their state of mind since playing Grand Prix.”
For Dominica, Kayla Winston and captain Anna-Maria Xavier had two points each while the trio of Lorraine Lockhart, Shari Pascal and Lisa James had one each.
Xavier said, “The girls never lost a positive spirit, always going after the ball. On the negative side, we need to focus more and stick to what our coach was telling us in terms of positional play, keep up with that positions to do better in defending.”
Dominica’s coach Albert Loblack admitted that his team was overpowered by a much more experienced and talented team.
He said, “T&T has more experience; they are a more talented team, with taller and stronger players. We did not do what we could; if we would have stuck to the basis we would have had a better showing. The ladies should have followed instructions better.”
In Friday’s opener, Mexico defeated Costa Rica 25-16, 25-18, 25-21 led by Samantha Bricio 14 points, which included 11 kills, followed by Dulce Carranza with 12 points on nine kills and two aces. Yuliana Gonzalez and Paola Ramirez topped Costa Rica with nine and seven points, respectively.
Mexico finished with 32-21 advantage in attacks, 6-2 in blocking and 7-4 in aces and also scored on 30 opponent errors while committing 28.
At the end of the tournament today, the top two teams will qualify to next year’s FIVB World Championship.
So far, Canada and Cuba have qualified as the top two teams in Pool B while in Pool B in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico swept Jamaica 25-19, 25-10, 25-17 and the host country pummelled Guatemala 25-7, 25-7, 25-11.
USA, winners of the last FIVB World Championship, qualified automatically.