The Bahamas loses again in beach volleyball, but girls make quarters
The Bahamas’ girls and both boys beach volleyball teams lost yesterday, but the country was able to salvage something as the girls survived a draw, allowing them to play in today’s quarter-finals. Hence, they are still alive for a medal at these 6th Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) here in Nassau, The Bahamas. Meanwhile, the best both boys teams could finish is ninth.
In the girls match, the Bahamian duo of Mechelle Moss and LaTavia Braynen battled hard, but fell to top seed Australia in straight sets, losing 21-8 and 21-15. They played much better on Wednesday than they did in their opening match against England in which they scored just 12 points.
“We’re getting better. I feel great about our performance because we’re making progress and you can see it,” said Moss about their play so far at the CYG Bahamas 2017. The beach volleyball segment is ongoing over at the Malcolm Park Beach Soccer Facility at the foot of the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge. This competition represents The Bahamas’ first-ever experience in girls beach volleyball at this level, and the country’s first-ever experience against major world powers in girls beach volleyball. Moss and partner Braynen are not fazed at all.
“I’m okay that we weren’t successful with a victory because we really put our all into it. We tried our best. As we go along we get a lot better, and that’s a good sign,” said Moss.
Moss also excels in softball. The 17-year-old two-sport star said that she is just trying to suck up the entire experience of the Commonwealth Youth Games — her first international exposure representing The Bahamas — before she goes off to college in the fall. She’ll be attending St. Augustine’s College (SAC) in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“I’m still trying to soak up the whole experience of the Commonwealth Youth Games,” said Moss. “I’m looking forward to everything that’s attached to the games. It’s been a great ride so far and hopefully it continues. We’re into the quarter-finals, so we’re just going to come out and give it our all.”
The girls survived a draw among the cellar-dwelling teams and will play Scotland in their quarter-final match today. That match will be played at 10:30 a.m. this morning over at the Malcolm Park Beach Soccer Facility. The winner of that match will play the winner of the match between New Zealand and England in the semi-finals.
“We played much better today. Our execution was top of the line, and with a little more work, we’ll be right there,” said Braynen. “We believe that we could compete against anyone right now. We feel good with where we’re at. We just have to serve more consistently, be more aggressive with blocking and attack a lil more.”
The boys ‘B’ team of Aaron Springer and James Cleare lost both of their matches yesterday. They fell to Australia in their first match, 21-9 and 21-6, and lost to St. Lucia in their second match, 21-10 and 21-19. They will play Trinidad & Tobago in their next match, today at 12:10 p.m. The Bahamas’ ‘A’ team of Nathan Wert and Kyle Wilson also lost yesterday. They fell to South Africa, 21-18 and 21-9, in just under 45 minutes. Wert and Wilson will play Jamaica in their next match at 11:20 a.m. today.
“The match was good at the beginning, but after being out in the hot sun, I think that we just got tired and wore down a bit,” said Wert. “We really needed to win that game, and I’m upset that we didn’t, but I’m happy with the effort. I’m looking forward to playing Jamaica. It should be a good match. We haven’t played them before so it should be interesting. The plan remains the same — to go out there and give it our best, and see how good we could do against them.”
Wert and Wilson were right in that first set against South Africa yesterday, until faltering late. They were competitive again at the start of the second set, but lost 11 of the final 12 points to drop the match in straight sets.
“They used a lot of strategy against us and it worked out in their favor,” said Wilson. “It was hard to attack them because of how they were serving, but we gave it our best and just came up short. The second set we were kind of fatigued, and also I think we got down on ourselves a bit for dropping a tough first set that we feel we should have won. We just need to stay calm and settle down a bit. Once we do that, we’ll be alright. I know that we could do a lot better, and we will.”
Both of The Bahamas’ boys teams failed to make the quarter-finals. The best they could finish in this competition is ninth.
The CYG Bahamas 2017 continues today with seven of the nine sports on the docket. Also, the athletics portion of the game gets underway today. Over 1,000 athletes from 64 countries are competing in the CYG Bahamas 2017.