NORCECA: National volleyball teams get set to travel


Senior Sports Reporter


WITH very little time to practice because of the passing of Hurricane Matthew and the unavailability of a gymnasium, the men’s and women’s national volleyball teams are geared up to travel to compete in NORCECA qualifying tournaments.

The men leave on Thursday for Martinique to compete from October 20-25 while the women will have a little more time to prepare as their tournament will not be played until next month in the Cayman Islands.

Both teams will have to finish in the top two in order to qualify for the Caribbean Volleyball Championships and the NORCECA Championships.

When the men travel, coached by Covance Mortimer, the team comprises Princtanique Wilson, Byron Ferguson, Renaldo Knowles, Jamaal Ferguson, Tonny Simon, Javari Southard, Jon Isaacs, Lorenzo Williams, Glen Rolle and JeVaughn Saunders. They will compete against Martinique, Aruba and Bonaire.

“We’ve been having some problems getting in consistent practices because of the hurricane, but I feel as if we will do alright because of the teams that are there,” Byron Ferguson, the centrepiece of the team said. “I feel we should definitely finish first in this tournament.”

Ferguson said they had been hoping to introduce more of the collegiate players on the team, but as that is not going to work out they are relying on the maturity of the veteran players that are available to travel.

“Our weakness will probably be in our serving because Renaldo (Knowles), who is normally one of our top players, is having some knee problems so he won’t have the same role as he’s always had. So with him playing the libero, that should help us to pick up our offence. I think we will have to utilise that as our strength.”

The good thing for the Bahamas is that they will get a chance to get in at least one practice in Martinique before they start competing, so Ferguson said that should take some of the edge off the team as they prepare to compete.

“Our first match in the tournament is against Aruba, so we will have a day to get prepared and hopefully that will help us for the first match,” Ferguson said. “But I know that we are a much better team than they are, so we should be okay.”

Once the men’s team return, the women’s team will travel to the Cayman Islands to compete from November 11-14 against the hosts, Guadaloupe and Bonaire. The team, which is not yet finalised, will be coached by Jason Saunders.

Beside the lack of quality time to practice, the Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF) said it was also caught in a financial dilemma and while it is grateful to the corporate Bahamas for assisting, they are still in need of some funding to get two more members of the team secured to travel. Interested persons are urged to contact the federation or visit their practice sessions from Monday to Wednesday at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium from 6pm to 9pm.

The BVF is also planning another Jerk Out for Saturday, October 29, at D W Davis Gymnasium. The original scheduled for Saturday, October 8, was postponed due to the hurricane. All tickets sold will be honoured on the 29th and additional tickets can be purchased from national team members.

“We also seek the support of former national team members and local players and would like them to come out for some friendly competition with current members and also participants from the junior national development programme,” the federation said in a statement. “We look to bridge the gap in our volleyball community and share the history of our sport as the current athletes are not too familiar with those who paved the way for them.”


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment