The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation is already looking ahead to 2020 after a successful and action-packed weekend hosting the 10th Cayman NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tournament.
Encouraged by a strong turnout of local fans and positive feedback from NORCECA, the regional governing body for the sport, CIVF is already anticipating making the event bigger and better next year.
Officials from NORCECA were impressed with the level of organisation and professionalism of the competition and the positive response from the players, who always enjoy the Cayman stop on the NORCECA Tour.
“The Cayman Islands event was excellent,” said Ed Drakich, NORCECA competition director and president of the NORCECA Beach Commission. “The venue was fantastic, the volunteers and court personnel were very professional and the shuttle transportation was excellent. Overall, this was one of the finest NORCECA events that I have ever seen.”
The tournament featured 36 teams from 16 countries playing more than 80 games across the three days. Four Cayman teams – two men’s and two women’s – competed. Jessica Wolfenden and Stefania Gandolfi placed ninth overall while Marissa Harrison and Ilean Powery finished 13th overall in a field of 18 women’s teams. Among the men, Casey Santamaria and Jesse Parham finished 10th and Richard Campbell and Nathan Dack came 17th out of 18.
In the men’s games, the gold medal match featured Cuba facing off against Mexico. The Mexican team of Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen defeated the Cuban team of Sergio Reynaldo Gonzalez Bayard and Luis Enrique Reyes Rodriguez solidly in both games by dominating the net, with a score of 21-18 and 21-14. Nicaragua beat the USA to take the bronze medal in a 3-match battle, 18-21, 21-19, 18-16.
On the women’s side, the Cuban team of Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega and Mailen Deliz Tamayo overcame Brittany Hochevar and Carly Wopat of the United States, beating them in two straight games, 18-21 and 19-21. The bronze medal was taken by the second USA team, who defeated Mexico 21-14, 21-18.
President of the Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation Kennedy McGowan was extremely pleased with the overall tournament and the quality of the play.
“There were some very exciting, nail-biting games in both the male and female divisions. It’s world-class volleyball,” McGowan said. “We were thrilled that so many came out over the three days to see and enjoy the event, and also very thankful for all the support from our corporate community who made hosting the event possible once again.”