BVI women strike
first OECS Volleyball championships gold
BY DEAN GREENAWAY
Ten years after winning its first medal as the bridesmaid, the
BVI’s women’s team struck gold Sunday night for the first time
with a domineering straight set 25-21, 25-23 and 25-21 victory over
St. Kitts in the OECS Volleyball Championships in Antigua. Former
champs St. Lucia who won the first 12 editions of the tournament
placed third and defending champs Dominica was fourth.
BVI Amateur Volleyball Association president Roy Barry said the
victory shows that hard works pays off. “We have been attending
this tournament for some time and the closest we came was a silver
medal, but that was some years back,” said Barry who guided the
team then. “With dedication and hard work they won a gold medal.
Judging from a tournament in St. Thomas in late August, the team’s
level of play has really improved. After that, I thought that the
chances of winning gold at this OECS tournament would have been
The road to the gold began with a confidence building triumph over
defending champs Dominica in a five set thriller 25-23, 19-25,
26-28, 25-21 and 15-13. They followed up with a four set 25-23,
20-25, 25-12 and 25-22 victory over St. Kitts before a straight set
25-16, 25-12 and 25-20 win over St. Maarten to complete the first
round unbeaten. The BVI met Dominica again beating them in another
seesaw thriller 19-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-12 and 16-14 to advance to
the championship game against St. Kitts.
Coach Stephen Payne said beating Dominica in the opener was a big
boost for the team’s morale. “We had the mental edge when we met
them again so the girls were more confident and it showed in their
play,” Payne said. “Dominica had us 14-11 and the fifth set and
we came from behind and eventually beat them 16-14.”
Payne said after they reach the final, they knew St. Kitts had been
a torn in the BVI’s flesh over the last 10 years. “Because we
overcame them in the preliminaries, this again proved to the BVI
team that they we unstoppable and in the final beat them in straight
After attending the tournament for the last 11 years, Payne said
they felt the time was time right to come home with the gold, as
several players are considering retiring. “We thought it would be
fitting that we go out with a bang this year to bring those players
who have been considering retiring some satisfaction.” Jackie
Weeks won the MVP and best attacker award. Patti Romney picked up
best setter and Sabinah Mason best blocker.
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