Spikers smash Guatemala

Cayman’s female beach volleyball players are excelling in the region’s biggest competition.  

The Cayman Islands national women’s team is now ranked fifth out of 16 countries in the 2013 North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation Beach Volleyball Circuit. Cayman has 280 points, trailing only Mexico (340 points), Guatemala (410 points), Canada and the US (both with 560 points). 

Cayman’s new position comes after Jessica Wolfenden and Cristin Alexander ended up fifth on the NORCECA tour’s third stop in Guatemala last weekend. The duo earned 140 points and US$500 for their efforts. 

At the Campo Marte Park in Guatemala City, Wolfenden and Alexander would defeat Kathya Vasquez and Maria Vargas of El Salvador and local girls Londy Lucero, Astrid Ruano, Nadia Galan and Maria A. Orellana. Their lone defeat came to Guatemalans Maria Orellana and Anna Ramirez in the quarterfinals. The overall champs were Kacie McTavish and Caleigh Whitaker of Canada. 

On the men’s side, Richard Campbell and Duncan Hamann placed 15th out of 20 teams, earning 25 points. Campbell and Hamann lost to Julio Recinos and Luis Garcia Reyes of Guatemala and eventual champions Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen of Mexico before beating Akim Bushe and Taran Deonath of Trinidad and Tobago. 

The local men are tied for 11th, with the US Virgin Islands, on the NORCECA tour with 105 points; ahead of Honduras (80 points), Barbados (45 points), Nicaragua (45 points), Jamaica (25 points) and the Bahamas (15 points). 

Both Cayman teams are coming off good showings in the NORCECA tour opener on Seven Mile Beach last month. Campbell played alongside Philippe Deslandes and finished in 13th place, while Hamann partnered with Shervin Rankin to place 10th. 

Wolfenden paired with Stefania Gandolfi to finish sixth after advancing to the quarterfinals, while Alexander teamed with Jennifer Bily to finish 13th after being eliminated in the tournament’s consolation bracket. 

Cayman will look to continue their form on the NORCECA’s tour fourth stop in Toluca, Mexico between 6 and 10 June. 

Most of the Cayman players also had a stellar showing in the second annual University of the West Indies Beach Volleyball Invitational this month. Rankin and Campbell won the men’s division, Alexander and Gandolfi finished third with Olney Thompson and Andrew Gordon ending up fourth. In 2012, Alexander and Bily were the inaugural women’s champions. 

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