Curacao and St Lucia advance to NORCECA’s third round
Willemstad, Curacao, May 13, 2013- Curacao captured the gold medal in the NORCECA second round Group J of the 2014 FIVB Women’s World Championship with a commanding straight sets (25-10, 25-15, 25-11) triumph over St Lucia at the International School of Curacao Auditorium on Sunday night.
Both Curacao and St Lucia were already qualified to the third and last round of tournaments next year.
Leading the way for the host country, which played unbeaten throughout the tournament winning all four matches by 3-0 margin, was the USA-based Christine Anthony who attends North Carolina Central University (NCCU) with a tournament-high 24 points, punctuated with 18 kills, four aces and two blocks.
In the match for third place, Belize overpowered Antigua & Barbuda in straight sets (25-16, 25-20, 25-18). By finishing third Belize still has a chance to qualifying for the third round, but will need to do it as the best third place finisher from all six groups of the second round qualifiers.
Tichele Solis was one of three Belize players to score in double-digits. Solis tallied 13 points, while Shantell Arnold got 12, five of which were aces, and team-captain Sherylee Young-Thornton added 11 in their victory in 61 minutes.
Maya Gomez, captain of Curacao was full of praise for her team which she said played an excellent match.
“The girls have been training for a very long time and it is nice to see that our hard work has brought reward,” she said. “Tonight’s final for us was not that difficult as we were very determined as a group to get the gold medal in front of our home crowd and in the end we were able to do that.”
Speaking after the match, St Lucia captain Edwards said she felt her team never really turned up at the tournament and was no match for Curacao in the final.
“We know we can play better than we did and to be honest it seems as though we were just surviving each match,” Edwards stated.
In earlier matches on Sunday, Curacao defeated Belize (25-11, 25-19, 25-11) and St Lucia downed Antigua & Barbuda (25-14, 25-19, 25-11).