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Calypso Spikers win again in Japan

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
After a well deserve rest over the weekend and sharing Japanese Holiday Autumnal Equinox Day with our Republic Day T&T women volleyball players journey to the historic Himeji Castle was a memorable one, as they walked through an old battle grounds at the Castle they continued battling on the court toward creating their own history. Photo by:Sean Morrison

T&T ‘Calypso Spikers’ continued their warm-up for the 24-team FIVB Women’s World Volleyball Championship

with a second warm-up win over host club Himeji Victorina 25-18, 20-25, 25-21 at the Himeji Victorina Volleyball Arena, in Himeji, Japan yesterday.

After two gruelling sessions, the women took to the court later that evening and started a block fest, with an astounding 8-4 start and kept the lead through the first set with a commanding performance by Japanese-based Sinead Jack who had 16 points.

Cuban-born T&T coach, Francisco “Panchee’ Cruz again made changes giving the bench rotations to ensure the experience is shared for the future.

However, the eight-time Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) champions, went down 20-25 in the second set due to many unforced errors.

The third set again as the first match went down to the wire but with the experienced Jalicia Ross-Kydd and Jack working their magic at the service line and at the net respectively, the T&T women came out on top

Turkey-based Krystle Esdelle added 14 points for the T&T women who were dominant in every aspect of the match with libero Afesha Olton having a consistent camp in ensuring setters Forde and Kelly-Anne Billingy control the game flow.

After the win, Forde said, "I’m happy with the victory and the consistent play of my team"

Coach Cruz was also pleased with the performance and the players work on and off the court.

With only a day away from the official big match Cruz said he was ready and the women are confident ahead of their last day at the Himeji Victorina camp before heading to Kobe to World Championships on Thursday

On Saturday, in their opening tour match against the same opponents, T&T women won 16-25, 25-18, 27-25.

T&T women enjoyed a slow start in the first set due to a mix-up in the warm-up protocol which was crucial for them, with 13 errors to Victorina’s two.

During the break for the second set, the coach pointed out to his players that blocks needed to improve for them to win the second set" and the ‘Calypso Spikers’ did just that leading with 12 blocks to Victorina’s two.

Victorina came out in the third set with a die-hard spirit and took the fight to T&T, but the Caribbean women dominated 6-2 in aces and 9-2 blocks to keep them ahead.

Both teams were eventually locked at 25-all before T&T ended with monster blocker from Jack and Delicia Pierre to secure the match.

With regards to the win, Forde said the team just had to get used to their offence and then they were able to get things going"

Cruz added said "My main purpose today (Saturday) was to put players in different positions and make changes to give everyone the experience but I am happy for the win "

When the FIVB World Championship serves off the ‘Calypso Spikers’ ranked 34th in the world will open their Pool C campaign against fifth-ranked Russia on September 29, followed by a clash with defending champion and world second-ranked USA on September 30.

Forde and her team-mates will then have a day off on October 1 before resuming round-robin play against 16th ranked Thailand on October 2; 24th ranked Azerbaijan on October 3, and a day later versus tenth ranked South Korea to close out group play at the 6,000 capacity seater Kobe Green Arena in Osaka Bay, Central Japan.


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