Time to rally as women get set to spike

As the Cayman Islands gets set to host qualifying matches for the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Championships, the head coach of the national team is urging local fans to come out and give a boost to the side representing the islands.

“The home crowd is the seventh person on the court. That is huge and we’re hoping that we can get the crowd to come out and really get behind our team,” said Mark Ray.

“We have a sort of inexperienced team but with the home crowd behind us, we can go all the way. The home support is going to be critical for us.”

The Cayman Islands is grouped with Bahamas, Bonaire and Guadeloupe for NORCECA Group C qualifying from 12 to 13 November, 2016. Matches will be played at the Clifton Hunter High School gym in Frank Sound.

Since August, when national team try-outs began, Ray has been leading women through training specifically for this competition. He said the group has been progressing well.

“My focus for the team is to come together as a team first and foremost. Anything else can happen after that. As I look at the progress of the team and I look at individual players and how they have progressed, I am pleased,” the coach said in an interview with CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

The squad has been training since try-outs began in August.

The squad has been training since try-outs began in August.

Although he expects a tough challenge against teams with more established national programmes, Ray said he expects Cayman’s women to be competitive.

“My realistic expectation is that we have a good showing…and we go out there and we don’t play dead, we go out there and we fight for each, and every point,” he said.

“Recognising that, we have some strong teams coming to represent. I’m looking for us to go out there and beat a couple of those teams. Against stronger teams I definitely want to see us put up a fight and once we continue to fight hard and put up our full potential, I think we can take some sets off them as well.”

Representing the Cayman Islands will be the following players:

Taylor Burrowes

Jossannah Smith

Trisha Espinal Geurrero

Stacy Ann Kelly

Kathy Miller

Amanda Wong

Brenda Mascarenhas

Chante Smith-Johnson

Chlouie Gaetos

Stephanie Jackson

Sarah Manoy

Stefania Gandolfi

Illean Powery was also selected to play but will not be able to do so due to injury.

Cayman opens against Bonaire at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, 12 November, then face Bahamas as 11:00 a.m. the next day in the first of two matches they will play on Sunday. They then close out the round against Guadeloupe at 7:00 p.m.

The full schedule is:

12 November

5:00 p.m.  Guadeloupe vs Bahamas

7:00 p.m.  Cayman Islands vs Bonaire


13 November

9:00 a.m.  Guadeloupe vs Bonaire

11:00 a.m.   Cayman Islands vs Bahamas

5:00 p.m.  Bonaire vs Bahamas

7:00 p.m.  Cayman Islands vs Guadeloupe

The top two teams advance to the next round of qualifying in Jamaica next year. The United States, as the 2014 World Champion, has qualified directly for the 2018 World Championships in Japan.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.