Jamrock serves up world championship for our ladies

Cayman is getting another shot at qualifying for volleyball’s world championship.

The Cayman Islands are slated to compete at the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation Group E First Round Tournament of the 2014 Fédération Internationale de Volleyball Women’s World Championship.

Matches will take place at the University of Technology Auditorium in Kingston, Jamaica on 29-30 November. Cayman battle Aruba, Barbados and hosts Jamaica in a round-robin format. On Thursday, Cayman plays Jamaica (11am) and Barbados (6pm). On Friday, Cayman faces Aruba (9am) with the playoffs starting from 6pm.

Cristin Alexander, one of Cayman’s top players, is not expected to play in the competition. Alexander, 25, is recovering from a torn meniscus and grade two Medial Collateral Ligament sprain. Alexander mentioned in late September that she was injured during beach training, needed at least a month for recovery time and that playing indoors is hard on her knees and joints.

At this week’s event, the top three teams qualify for next year’s second round tournament. Jamaica and Barbados are currently 12th and 13th in the NORCECA rankings while Aruba and Cayman share the 
30th position.

The Jamaica tournament is the eighth and final female qualifier in the Caribbean region. The other stops were Nicaragua, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Panama and Suriname.

Cayman’s ladies will look to improve on the men’s performance in October. North Side, specifically the new Clifton Hunter High School Sports Centre in Frank Sound, staged the male qualifiers. Serving as host nation for the first time ever, Cayman went 0-4 and missed out on the second round of qualifying.

All three of the visiting countries, Aruba, Barbados and Suriname, would advance.

Representing Cayman were Shameel Javid Ali, Martin Bodden, Richard Campbell, Duncan Hamann, Cassim Fareed Hosein, Keeble Knight, Joebert Macasling, Ryan McGuire, Brian Purcell, Davison Ruwende and Olney ‘OT’ Thompson. Keith Higgins served as player/coach with Kennedy McGowan as team manager.

News of the Jamaica competition comes after the annual Cayman Airways Spikefest tournament earlier this month at the University College of the Cayman Islands.

Cayman challenged teams from Jamaica, Bahamas, the US and Barbados. The Caribbean All Stars won the men’s title while Venus, representing the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, were the women’s champions.

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