Another milestone for Bahamas beach volleyball


Sports Reporter


IT WAS another milestone for the beach volleyball movement in the Bahamas as the Bahamas Volleyball Federation fielded a two-man team at leg No.6 of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Continental Tour.

The team of Byron Ferguson and Rajahl Moxey finished with a 1-3 win loss record this weekend at the tournament hosted in North Bay, Ontario, Canada.

The duo played in Pool C which also included Canada (A), United States (B), El Salvador and the US Virgin Islands. The Bahamas finished third in the group won by Canada (A).

Pool A included Puerto Rico, Canada (C), Guatemala and the Cayman Islands while Pool A included USA (A), Barbados, Canada (B), Canada (D) and Costa Rica.

Ferguson and Moxey opened competition with a split in their first two matches of day one.

Against the USVI, they defeated the team of Carlos Rosa Jr and Peter Edwards Jr in three sets, 21-15, 21-23, 15-11. They fell to the Canada (A) team of Sam Pedlow and Grant O’Gorman, 21-11, 21-8 and to the USA (B) team of Will Montgomery and Stafford Slick 21-0,21-0. On day two they fell to El Salvador 21-12, 21-11.

It was the first team that represented The Bahamas on the 2014 tour which will next host a tournament August 20-25 in Varadero, Cuba.

BVF executives said they saw the tournament as an opportunity to gain national beach volleyball experience and exposure.

Tour stops are also an opportunity to not only obtain points that will assist in the country’s ranking, but also as an opportunity to develop and provide other avenues and options for younger players.

The team is expected to return home today.

BVF executives expect him to be a mentor for the younger, inexperienced Moxey, who recently competed in the youth olympic beach qualifiers.

Ferguson, 25, a pro player in the indoor game has spent the last two seasons with Pielaveden Sampo of the Finland Volleyball League, the highest level of volleyball in the country, with 12 franchises in the league.

Based in the small town of Pielavesi, the club is one of the most successful teams in the league. The team has become a national champion three times - in 2004, 2005, and 2009 - and has been the first runner-up in 2001, 2007, 2008, and 2010.

Ferguson welcomed the opportunity to play with Moxey on this tour as his former partner, Prince Wilson, in addition to veterans Renaldo Knowles and Muller Petit had other obligations.

“I personally feel like Rajahl is a good choice and has lots of potential to be a successful beach player, especially for his age. He only needs to talk a bit more as it’s only two players covering the entire court, but with confidence and exposure that will come.”

Last year Moxey, 17, teamed with Gaege Smith to make a run at qualification in the beach volleyball competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

Moxey called it “a dream” to compete at the highest level after he witnessed the skill level at the Youth Olympics qualifiers.

“It was always my dream to play volleyball at a higher level and at such a young age, I think that this opportunity will afford me to live out one of my dreams,” he said prior to the event.

The focus for Ferguson and the national team programme will now shift to the indoor game as they prepare to defend an historic title.

In an interview with the Tribune just under a month ago, Ferguson indicated that while the next stop on his pro career remains undecided, national team play remains a priority this summer.

“I’m considering where I’m going to play for the next season in August, but right now my focus is on the national team,” Ferguson said, “We just got back from Puerto Rico where we got a bronze medal and we are trying to defend our title in a few weeks in Trinidad.”

In the first instance, Rolle was referring to the NORCECA Men’s World Championship Qualification Tournament in Puerto Rico where the men finished third, just shy of earning a berth in the 24-team FIVB Men’s World Championships scheduled for August 30 to September 21 in six cities in Poland.

In the latter case, he was referring to the men’s trip to Trinidad & Tobago where they will have to defend their title at the Caribbean Volleyball Championships July 18-28.


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