By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
After its run on Tortola last weekend, the HLSCC Stingrays Spring Volleyball Invitational will conclude in Virgin Gorda this weekend.
Debbie Hodge, Director of Student Life at HLSCC, told Island Sun Sports that they’re trying to return sports to the college and one of the sports they decided to focus on was volleyball for both males and females. Students she noted have been practicing and they decided to host the tournament with other teams in the community to give the Stingrays exposure in a tournament setting. She said they looked only at having the female matches on Tortola while coed games will be played on Virgin Gorda.
“It was really, really exciting. The students were nervous as first timers but I think we really achieved what we wanted to in terms of them getting a feel of play and what it’s like to play on a big court with seasoned teams, who have been in the sport for some years,” Hodge said. “The camaraderie that was built, the support from the other teams, the encouragement to our students was just overwhelming. They’re really looking forward in terms of moving forward seeing some of those players who played for other teams, coming to HLSCC at our practices and helping to strengthen our team so that in the next round, the scores could certainly look a lot better.”
HLSCC fell to Elite 25-4 and 25-3 on Friday. No other results were available.
Middle Blocker Anna Gordon who also plays basketball, said it was phenomenal playing again after getting a beating last year. “Getting to see other teams play, I know that I have to work hard, and we’re not going to lose,” she said with laughter. “Even in losing, you have to keep a positive mindset to keep going and even though you’re down by a bit, keep going and keep your teammates positive.”
Kristin Abraham, also a middle blocker, said her experience was motivating. “I didn’t expect myself to go in and meet up with the skills that the other teams have, but I was able to see what they did, how they did things, what to expect from other teams as well as what I need to work on as well as cooperating and other skills our coaches taught us during practices before the tournament,” she explained. “Of course I was nervous. But it was a good learning experience.”
For Renisha “Ren Pop” Rogers who is into dance and cheerleading, said the sport is new to her but she gets excited to play with her teammates. “It’s not like when you mess up they’re on you back,” she noted. “They’re cheerful and they’re learning too. We’re all learning from our mistakes and accepting our mistakes.”
Trevancia “Lil Bit” Lettsome, is the team’s setter and said her experience was fun and a good one. “What I liked about the other teams, they were working with us and telling us what we should and shouldn’t do and I thank them for that because it showed me a lot of things that I can improve on,” she said.
Hodge said the weekend games will feature two Bregado Flax coed teams and a team from the community at the Jeffrey Caines Arena, starting with a 5:30 p.m. opening ceremony. Admission is $5 per person.
“Come out, enjoy the games and have some good fun with us,” Hodge said. “We just want to see the whole of Virgin Gorda and anybody going to Virgin Gorda from Tortola, this is the place to be, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”