Spikers skip Mexico trip

The Cayman Islands will be missing the next stop on the regional volleyball circuit.

Cayman will not be sending a male or female team to Mazatlan, Mexico for the sixth stop in the 2013 North Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation Beach Volleyball Circuit. The competition is expected to take place this weekend.

Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation public relations officer Carl Brown said while unforeseen circumstances led to Cayman’s absence, the bigger picture is that Cayman is still an outfit with limited resources.

“With ideal circumstances, we’d be regional contenders for the top three spots, be an Olympic-quality team and possibly make the world championships,” Brown said. “If we got those resources and support, we could do better than other countries. We’re good at hosting, it’s a model we’ve become regionally known for and hopefully, world-renown for too.

“Our current ranking with Jessica Wolfenden and Cristin Alexander is no small feat,” he said. “It is, in fact, a remarkable feat considering our size.”

Personal and work commitments prevented Cayman from fielding a full team in Varadero Beach, Cuba last month for the NORCECA tour’s fifth stop. Initially, Wolfenden and Alexander, along with male pairing Richard Campbell and Shervin Rankin, were expected to compete. Only Olney “OT” Thompson and Philippe Deslandes suited up, placing 15th out of 20 teams after losing both of their matches to Canada and the Dominican Republic.

Local volleyball was coming off a high this summer after grabbing two silver medals at the 2013 Natwest Island Games in Bermuda.

As a result of their Cuba performance, Cayman’s male players dropped one spot in the rankings and now sit 13th of 20 teams on the NORCECA tour with 130 points. The ladies slipped two spots and are now seventh with 380 points. The next stop on the beach circuit is slated for next week in Puerto Rico.