By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
FOR the second time in two straight games, the Bahamas met Barbados, this time losing the bronze medal as the CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association) Women's Championship concluded at the Ismay van Wilgen Sport Hall in Paramaribo, Suriname, on Monday night.
The Bahamas lost a marathon 25-23, 21-25, 25-19, 24-26 and 16-14 decision to finish fourth - carting off four individual titles as Brittany Deveaux and Ashley Webb were awarded the number one and two blockers respectively, while Rachel Knowles was the best opposite player (right side hitter) and best digger was Chandra Mackey.
Trinidad & Tobago won the gold medal, beating host Suriname in three straight games.
Head coach Covance Mortimer said it could have easily been the Bahamas playing for the gold, but they are content with their fourth place finish, considering that it was a relatively young team that they took to Suriname for the tournament.
Despite the make-up of the team, Mortimer said the players performed at their best. "The team performed at a very high level, especially since we got off to a slow start," Mortimer said. "We came back with a lot of resilience and was able to fight right to the end. So I'm very happy with the team effort."
With a team averaging about 19-20 years of age, Mortimer said it showed in their performances in certain game situations.
But he said they kept their composure and even though they didn't get into the final, they will enjoy the third place finish.
He said they will now have to go back to the drawing board and get prepared for the Caribbean Volleyball Championships.
The team returned home yesterday and Knowles said they will enjoy the fourth place finish. "I felt we did well, considering the circumstances because a lot of us are in school and so it took us a little while to get used to playing with each other again," she said.