Bahamas volleyball teams in NORCECA qualifier


Senior Sports Reporter


IN preparation for the Senior Caribbean Volleyball Championships, the Bahamas Volleyball Federation has had an influx of players at its practice sessions.

The championships, which serve as a qualifier for NORCECA, is slated to be held in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, July 6-15. From NORCECA, the Bahamas could qualify for the World Championships.

Last year, the Bahamas men's team played in the Continental Championships in Canada where they got ranked as the favourite to win the Sr CVC title.

With players still coming in from college to try out, the BVF's acting president Joseph 'Joe Mo' Smith said they are in the final stages of trimming down the teams to the 12-member squads.

"By the first week of June, we expect to have the final 12," said Smith, who noted that the local players have been working out since the latter part of February.

To ensure that the teams are ready for the CVC, Smith noted that the federation sent both teams to compete in a tournament in Jamaica and next month they intend to go to Orlando, Florida, to fine tune them in another tournament.

Smith, by the way, also serves as the head coach of the women's team. He is assisted by Lloyd 'Ratty' Davis. Margaret 'Muggy' Albury is the manager. The men's team will be coached by Raymond Wilson, assisted by DeVince Smith. The manager is Jermaine Adderley.

Representing the federation at CVC will be secretary Crystal Forbes.

"We have a good management team that can take us over the hump," Smith said.

As for the players, Smith said they have a lot of the players back from school and they normally average about 30 players at practice. The women, on the other hand, have about 20.

"We still have some more players coming in this weekend, so we have to hold off naming the 18 players that we will finally select as the 12 players that will be named to the team," Smith said.

"There are a lot of collegiate players coming in over the weekend so we want to see what they bring to the table before we eventually cut the team down."

At the CVC, the Bahamas will have to finish as one of the first two teams in order to qualify for NORCECA. At NORCECA, they will need to finish in the top three in order to qualify for the World Championships.

"We already have an invitation to attend the World Championships qualifying," Smith said. "The women go to Suriname in the first week in September and the men go to Curacao the last week in September.

"So winning CVC can cause us to opt out of the first round and go directly to the second round. It gets us that closer to getting to the World Championships."

Practice sessions are being held at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.

Smith said both teams are looking good and he's confident that, at the end of the day, the federation will put two solid teams together to represent the Bahamas at CVC.

In addition to coaching the women's team, Smith has been holding the fort for the executive board of the federation in the absence of president Don Cornish, who is currently working in Harbour Island. The federation is expected to hold its election of officers in October.


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