The Bahamas finishes with silver at CAZOVAThe team loses gold medal to host country Suriname in four sets
Seeking their first CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association) men’s title last night, and playing on their home court, Team Suriname responded, taking down The Bahamas in four sets, 25-20, 13-25, 25-22 and 25-23.
Team Bahamas knew that it would be playing in a hostile environment on Tuesday night, but still gave it quite a ride. In the end, they just came up short in the championship match at the 17th version of the championships at the Ismay Van Wilgen Sporthal in Paramaribo, Suriname.
The Bahamas was looking to win its first Caribbean title in six years, but couldn’t overcome a sizable lead in the fourth set and had to settle for silver. It was Suriname who rode the momentum of their home crowd to capture their first ever CAZOVA men’s title.
Team Bahamas won the second set quite easily, but lost some key points, at crucial moments, in the three sets that they lost.
Down by six in the fourth, Team Bahamas showed a lot of fortitude by battling all the way back. They came within a single point on one occasion in that fourth set, but could never pull even or surge ahead.
The team trailed just 24-23 after a couple kills down the middle from Byron Ferguson and a double block, but Suriname closed out the set and the match with a kill from the outside that went off an attempted block.
The final statistics of the gold medal match were unavailable up to press time.
The Bahamas got a huge victory over Haiti on Monday, but still needed to win its final round-robin match against two-time defending champions Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) on Tuesday morning just to get into the championship match on Tuesday night.
Mission accomplished. It was a thrilling five-setter, but The Bahamas prevailed, 26-24, 22-25, 22-25, 25-20 and 15-12, to get into the final. The resilient squad had to rebound from being down two sets to one to pull off the impressive win.
Team captain Prince Wilson once again led the team. He had a side-high 19 kills in the five-setter. Renaldo Knowles contributed 13.
Wilson stated that the victory was payback for what transpired eight years ago when Trinidad & Tobago beat them in the semifinals and went on to capture their first title. Coming into this tournament, they had won two straight and three out of four.
Wilson admitted that they were tired, and said that they would cross that bridge when we get to it when asked about the championship match against the host nation Suriname last night.
In the win and move on to the final affair Tuesday morning, The Bahamas narrowly won the first set, 26-24, but dropped the next two to fall behind in the match.
T&T began the fourth set with a series or unforced errors and although they came back in that set, the lead was too insurmountable to overcome. The Bahamas led by as much as eight points in that set, 19-11.
The Bahamas only trailed once in the fifth set, 6-5, and eventually held on for the victory.
Daneil Williams was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points for T&T. He had 18 kills and two service winners. Brandon Legall had 15 kills for T&T. Wilson had 19 points for The Bahamas.
Marc Honore had five blocks for T&T, and Mikheil Hoyte added four. Shonari Hepburn and Byron Ferguson had three and two kills respectively, for The Bahamas.
Wilson added nine digs for The Bahamas, and Jamaal Ferguson had eight. Je’Vaughn had 28 successful sets. Joshua Mohammed had 12 digs for T&T, and Legall added four. Kameron Donald had 43 successful sets for T&T.
T&T went on to win the bronze medal, defeating 10-time champions Barbados in four sets in the bronze medal match, 26-24, 25-22, 28-30 and 25-22.
On Monday, Wilson scored 20 points, inclusive of 15 kills, three aces and two blocks, to lead The Bahamas past Haiti in four sets, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21 and 25-23. Ferguson added 12 kills for The Bahamas in that match.
Haiti was led by Jean Phillipe Bayol with 19 points inclusive of 16 kills and two aces. Kensky Jean Baptiste added 13 kills for Haiti.
With the loss last night, The Bahamas ended the 17th CAZOVA Men’s Championships with a 3-2 win/loss record – both losses coming to the host nation, Suriname. They lost a marathon five-setter to Suriname on Sunday night, 42-40, 23-25, 21-25, 25-22 and 15-11.