Cubans knock off Cayman spikers

The Cayman Islands came up short in a Cuban beach volleyball competition.

Local pair Cristin Alexander and Jennifer Bily were eliminated in the quarterfinals on the sixth stop of the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation 2012 tour. Taking place on Varadero Beach last weekend, the ladies lost to Cuban pair Kirenia Ballard and Onayamís Sinal 21-19, 21-14. Ballard and Sinal would be the eventual women’s champions.

It was Alexander and Bily’s second defeat of the tournament, having lost to Canada’s Caleigh Whitaker and Melissa Humana-Paredes 21-18, 21-16. Their lone victory came over the Jamaican pair of Nardarake Hutchinson and Tsahai Williams, 21-14 and 21-9.

The male pairing of Philippe Deslandes and Olney Thompson fared worse, being eliminated in the group stages. Their defeats came at the hands of Costa Rica’s Julio Álvarez and Luis Sandoval 21-15, 21-15 and Canada’s Nicholas Del Bianco and Benjamin Chow 21-15, 21-14.

In total, 15 countries were represented by 28 teams. That marked a record turnout for the Cuban stage of the tour, which previously hosted 25 pairs from 12 nations last year.

Puerto Rican Arnaldo Sanchez, the event director, stated he was pleased with the turnout.

“Many of the competitors are from the Caribbean, an area that is developed in our confederation,” Sanchez said.