Volleyball players all set for Cuba

 

Cayman Islands volleyball will look to continue gaining regional kudos. 

Olney “OT” Thompson and Philippe Deslandes are representing Cayman in Varadero Beach, Cuba for the fifth stop in the 2013 North Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation Beach Volleyball Circuit. They left Cayman on Wednesday and return on Sunday as the competition runs Aug. 21-26.  

Cayman was initially expected to send male and female teams but Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation public relations officer Carl Brown said sudden changes were made to the roster. 

“It’s a grand opportunity to build on what we did a few weeks ago in Bermuda,” Brown said. “The contingent is now reduced due to unforeseen circumstances. The ladies were not able to go, it was a last-minute change. Shervin Rankin and Richard Campbell, who eventually got silver in Bermuda, were also not able to make the Cuba trip. 

“Philippe and OT were part of the Bermuda contingent that helped pave the way for the men’s team to make the gold medal match. For NORCECA, Cayman has always been in the top 10. Considering NORCECA is a 43-member group, we’ve done well to build on that. I’m not sure about the strength of the competition, but I don’t expect we’ll fall below that.” 

Local volleyball is on a high after grabbing two silver medals at the 2013 Natwest Island Games in Bermuda last month.  

Thompson and Deslandes will be looking to improve Cayman’s standing on the NORCECA tour, as the men head into Cuba ranked 12th. 

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Olney Thompson is playing in Cuba this week. – PHOTO: MATTHEW YATES

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