The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation National League kicked off Saturday, Oct. 14 at the ARC at Camana Bay, and spectators and teams alike were treated to three action-packed games.
At 7 p.m., the ladies took to the court, where FPC took on the Clyde Built Construction Lady Knights. FPC trailed early in the first set, giving newcomers CLK confidence as they relied on their heavy hitters Meghan O’Doherty, who had six kills for the night, and Mireia Alvarez Griera, with five kills for the night, to secure the first set with a score of 25-18.
FPC entered the second set with additional determination and leaned heavily on National Team star, Chante Smith-Johnson, who had nine kills, three service aces, and one block for the game, and Lolit Montemayor who had four big digs defensively as the libero for FPC.
The Lady Knights struggled in the second set and conceded the set 25-14. With the third set being the decisive one, the action was heated from the first serve as both teams sought to take home their first win of the National league.
Brenda Dawson set FPC up for success with four service aces, and several key sets that resulted in critical kills. For CLK, Alyssa Phipps added four kills to help her team out, but it was not enough to stop an FPC ladies team playing at the top of their game. Behind excellent play by Chante Smith-Johnson, FPC won the final set 25-20 for a 2 sets to 1 victory.
The second women’s game was between the Heineken Honeys and the Spike Girls. This was a tight game that saw the Spike Girls well composed on defense and making the most of every opportunity to set up big kills. The Heineken Honeys struggled while under attack, which ultimately led to them losing two straight sets 25-20 and 25-23 in a very close game.
The Spike Girls were led by Heather Thompson who ripped 10 kills and three digs and assisted by JoAnna Poyssick, who added two kills, three service aces and two digs. Alyssa Brock was a huge presence at the net for the Spike Girls, scoring three kills to help maintain their lead.
Youngster Lauren Scott was a welcome addition to the Heineken Honeys as she earned a team high five kills, one block and an ace. Lisa Kemp also added three kills and two aces for the Honeys in an unsuccessful attempt to force a third set tie-break.
Meanwhile on the men’s court, FBC Saints took on the Burger King Knights in a best of five match. The men came out swinging and the Knights were quick to take two straight sets 25-15 and 25-18 behind an offensive attack featuring National Team stars Richard Campbell, with five kills on the game, and Olney Thompson, with four kills and an ace for the game. They did, however, lose some steam in the third set as the Saints came marching in and secured the third set with a 25-17 victory.
In the fourth set, FBC put everything they had behind top players Marcus Patterson, with seven kills, and Ricky Ducent, with four kills, but they still fell short. The Knights won the fourth set 25-21 for a 3 sets to 1 victory.
The games continued on Monday at First Baptist’s gym, where the FBC Saints took on Team Chemistry. The match was won by Team Chemistry 3 sets to 1 victory to place them level with the Burger King Knights on the standing table. Meanwhile, the FBC Saints now face an uphill battle, having lost their first two matches of the season.
On Tuesday, the first women’s game of the evening was FPC vs. Spike Girls. This was bound to be an emotionally charged game as FPC would be playing against three of their former teammates.
During the first set, FPC pummeled the Spike Girls 25-19. The Spike Girls were heard chanting “Stop right now” going into the second set as they refused to let FPC take the match in two straight sets. Their girl power worked wonders and they managed to take the second set, beating FPC 25-18.
The third set was a nail biter which consisted of long rallies full of big blocks, digs and killer spikes, but was eventually taken by FPC with Chante Smith-Johnson putting away 12 kills combined with two amazing digs, and Chlouie Gaetos, who had six kills and 11 game saving digs.
Although the Spike Girls were unsuccessful in taking home the win, they made some solid plays. Joanna Poyssick led her team with seven kills, Sandy McCombs cleaned up the court with eight digs, while Heather Thompson defended the net with five blocks.
With the win, FPC take sole possession of first place at the top of the standing
Facing off for the second game of the evening were Heineken Honeys and Clyde Built Construction Lady Knights. Having lost their first games of the competition on Saturday evening, both teams were ready to win their first match of the season. The Lady Knights out-hustled the Heineken Honeys and took the first set 25-19.
Meghan O’Doherty imposed her will with 12 Kills for the Lady Knights along with teammate Mireia Alvarez Griera, who had five kills and two aces. The Heineken Honeys had a difficult time setting up plays, and as a result they only managed to score five kills collectively. Three of those kills belonged to Lisa Kemp, who swung hard and found the empty spaces on the court.
With the inconsistent play, there was no surprise when the Lady Knights took the second set 25-20. The Honeys now find themselves at the bottom of the table with two straight losses.