Sandy smashes boost Spikefest

It may have been an indoor tournament, but beach volleyball made a lasting impression.

Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation president Noel Williams said the inclusion of beach games at the tail end of the 2013 Cayman Airways Spikefest tournament did well to showcase local strengths to visiting teams.

“As in past years, Cayman Airways Spikefest was a success,” Williams said. “I was very pleased at the level of play of the Cayman Islands teams. They played at a very high level and were competitive in every match. This year, we included a one-day beach tournament at Royal Palms. This was a nice addition to Spikefest and all those involved had a great time. Thanks to all those involved in helping put this tournament together.”

The beach competition, which took place on the Remembrance Day holiday, drew a good crowd. The exhibition games had a relaxed feel and participants enjoyed themselves. Monday’s matches marked the second major tournament at Royal Palms in recent weeks, with the federation hosting its inaugural Big Dig tournament in mid-October, attracting more than 10 teams in a variety of colorful costumes.

For the indoor portion of Spikefest, U.S.-based Scion won the men’s segment and Jamaica-based University of the West Indies fielded the winning women’s team. Both sides competed at the University College of the Cayman Islands multipurpose hall.

Scion would beat the UWI men’s side in the finals, with a Cayman select team finishing third and local squad Kayotics placing fourth. For the ladies, UWI took down United Nations (a multinational side with mostly Cayman residents) in the final, with a Cayman select team finishing third.

There was no shortage of local talent as Shervin Rankin, Olney Thompson and Kennedy McGowan suited up for the men, while the women featured Cristin Alexander, Jessica Wolfenden and Stefania Gandolfi.