NORCECA chief praises Cayman

The region’s top volleyball figure had high praise for Cayman’s biggest tournament. 

North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation President Cristobal Marte Hoffiz stated the repeat title for the Puerto Rican men’s team made Cayman a historic competition. 

“The Confederation recognizes the feat achieved by this couple from Puerto Rico and their victory in Cayman Islands is one of the great moments in the history of our circuit,” Marte Hoffiz said. 

“I congratulate them and I hope they continue working hard to accomplish all their goals. We must recognize the great victory of the pair Roberto Rodriguez and Eric Haddock, whom I consider NORCECA Olympic champions for their feat.” 

Cayman hosted the NORCECA beach circuit opener last month for the fifth straight year. Rodriguez and Haddock of Puerto Rico won their second straight title here by beating former Olympic and world champion Todd Rogers and Ryan Doherty of the US. Chaim Schalk and Benjamin Saxton of Canada finished third. 

Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas of Canada won the women’s segment, ahead of American girls Jennifer Kropp and Whitney Pavlik and bronze medal winners Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat. 

The Cayman teams held their own. The female pairing of Jessica Wolfenden and Stefania Gandolfi advanced to the quarterfinals, losing to Broder and Valjas. Wolfenden and Gandolfi placed second in their group, just behind Kroop and Pavlik. Jennifer Bily and Cristin Alexander would be eliminated in the tournament’s consolation bracket by Diana Romero and Maria Vargas of El Salvador. 

For the men, Shervin Rankin and Duncan Hamann placed 10th after losing to Puerto Ricans Hector Soto and Victor Rivera in the consolation bracket. In the opening round, Rankin and Hamann beat fellow Cayman players Richard Campbell and Philippe Deslandes. 

Cayman is one of 17 NORCECA tour stops in 2013, an increase from 11 in 2012. Over Easter, the tour shifted to Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic. Mexico’s Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros picked up the men’s gold medal ahead of Brad Keenan and John Mayer of the US and Schalk and Saxton of Canada. 

Fopma and Sweat won the women’s gold medal ahead of fellow Americans Brittany Hochevar and Summer Ross and bronze medal winners Bibi Candelas and Marta Revuelta of Mexico. 

The 2013 NORCECA tour will head to Guatemala on 17-22 April. 

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