Wednesday, April 17, 2024

V-ball KO finals look tight

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Two of the most evenly matched finals in the Goddard Enterprises Volleyball Knockout Tournament will be staged when Brydens Rockets oppose PanAmerican International Insurance Corporation Warrens and old rivals Gourmet Xpress Progressive clash with Deacons this evening at the Wildey Gym.   

The women’s battle will serve off at 5 with Warrens being the only team of the four without a knockout title.

A preliminary victory over deposed queens Flow Sentry Brokers Deacons would give Warrens lots of hope of taking the title.

Rockets are boosted by the return of six-footer Anicia Wood, who suited up for her first game of the 2014 season, which was the four-sets defeat of Deacons in last Wednesday’s semi-finals.

Caribbean MVP Shari Matthews and an in-form Katrina Wickham have been carrying the Rockets in Wood’s on-court absence, during which she filled the role of coach.

Similarly, Warrens have counted on the play of former CVC MVP Anthazia Mason, the robust Talya Layne and veteran pint-sized setter Sophia Walcott to carry their offence. Former Rocket Lisa Austin can also make a contribution.

However, while the usual suspects will predictably determine how the sets will run tonight, the contribution from the supporting cast and Warrens’ avoidance of implosion will decide the knockout queens for 2014.

Founding members Progressive and Deacons get another chance to battle for a men’s volleyball trophy after defending champions Chargers opted to miss the knockout part of the season. As in the women’s finals, the supporting cast will tilt the balance of power.

Deacons have more firepower with the return of Daran Gill and Andriy Stapleton to join Sheldon Roach, Klode Thompson, Kyle Browne, Elwyn Oxley and Jamal Nedd. There is uncertainty as to whether setter Ronald Rice will return to the island, and if he does not, Division 2 veteran Patrick Oxley or youngster Ahkeem Mayers will have to fill that key spot.

While Patrick Oxley and Mayers may have the setting skills, Progressive will relish the gap in weaker blocking at that critical two position.  

Veterans Renier Grace and Fabian Cox along with Akeem Payne are expected to lead Progressive’s assault. Choke Holder and Rico Brathwaite have shown good form.

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