ST CROIX, US Virgin Islands (CMC) — Ten-time champions Barbados are on the brink of crashing out the 14th biennial Caribbean Volleyball Championship after after losing to reigning champions Trinidad and Tobago here Tuesday night.
Europe-based Marc Anthony Honore inspired the Trinidadians to a tough four-set win over the Barbadians and left them in a must win situation to secure a quarter-final birth.
Honore led with 24 points and eight blocks as the champions prevailed 25-19, 24-26, 25-16, 25-18 at the Ronald 'Ranchee' Charles Gymnasium, Central High School.
Ryan Stewart added 16 points, Jessel Davis and Sean Morrison got ten points each and captain Nolan Tash, seven for the winners.
"Sports is about momentum and Barbados dominated for a long period of years, but I believe now is our time and we intend to rule for a good period of time as well," boasted Tash.
"We have the right mix of youth and experience and we would like to show consistent volleyball as we did tonight against Barbados".
The defeat, Barbados's second following their opening round loss to Jamaica, puts them on the brink of elimination from the main quarter-final draw.
Shawn Simpson led Barbados with 16 points, captain Jamaal Nedd got seven and Fabian Cox six.
While the victory assures Trinidad and Tobago of a place in the quarter-final round, the defeat means Barbados must win their game against Guadeloupe, which was scheduled to be played yesterday, to keep championship hopes alive.
"Our team spirit is still quite high and we will take the positives from this match into the final game against Martinique which we must win" promised Ludger Niles, the Barbadian coach.
"The rivalry between T&T and Barbados is much higher than with other teams, but we are now in a 0-2 hole for the first time in a senior regional tournament and must show a lot of character in our final match to get to the next phase of the competition."
Overall it was solid display for the twin republic that had an 18-5 and 10-8 edge in blocks and service aces, respectively.
Meantime, former champions Martinique kept their hope of advancing to the quarter-final stage alive by beating Jamaica 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22 in the opening fixture Tuesday.
Gregory Alpha led the Martiniquans with 17 points while Captain Rodolphe Maignan added 15 as the winners held a 9-7 and 14-10 advantage over Jamaica in service aces as well as blocks, respectively.
Ryck Webb led with a match-high 20 points for Jamaica, while the trio of captain Dellan Brown, Conaradio Taylor and Mark Lewis got 18, 13 and ten points respectively.
Yesterday, Martinique were down to face Barbados and Jamaica play Trinidad and Tobago in the final round Pool 'A' matches.
Later in the evening in Pool 'B' the USVI come up against The Bahamas ahead of today's quarter-finals matches.