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Calypso Spikers get Japan training camp

Friday, February 16, 2018
FLASHBACK: The individual awards winners at the conclusion of the Third Round of the 2018 FIVB World Championship qualification, the NORCECA Continental Women’s Pool C Qualifiers concluded at the National Cycling Centre, in Balmain Couva in October 2017. From left: Channon Thompson (T&T), Krystle Esdelle (T&T captain), Afesha Olton (T&T), Darlene Ramdin (T&T), Samantha Bricio (Mexico), Sinead Jack (T&T), Johanna Gamboa (Costa Rica), Lizeth Lopez (Mexico) and Sashiko Sanay (Mexico).

As part of their preparations for the 2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship, T&T senior women’s volleyball team, known as the ‘Calypso Spikers’ will be one of seven NORCECA Confederation teams which will get the chance to play and train in Japan ahead of the tournament which takes place from September 19 to October 20.

In addition to T&T, champions USA, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico will also train and play warm-up matches.

The T&T women’s team coached by Dominican Republic-born Francisco ‘Panchee’ Cruz qualified for its first World Championship after finishing second to Mexico with a 2-1 record in a four-team NORCECA Continental Women’s Championship Qualifying Tournament. T&T recorded wins over Costa Rica and Dominica last October.

It was a bittersweet moment for the seven-time Caribbean champions T&T women as their qualification erased the heart-ache of their last round failure.

Five years ago they came within a win of securing a spot at the World Championship in Italy, but the team lost to host Cuba in a group-decider after wins over Curacao and Haiti. A few months later, this time on home soil it was Mexico that defeated T&T after wins against Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama with only one spot up for grabs.

T&T ranked 34th in the world is grouped with defending champions and world second ranked USA , fifth ranked Russia, South Korea (#10th), Thailand (#16), and Azerbaijan (#24) at the Kobe Green Arena in their First Round Pool C group. Twenty-four teams will participate across six cities.

In addition to the participating in Japan, the national women’s team will also look forward to competing at FIVB Women’s Nations League, a replacement for the FIVB Grand Prix competition.

Speaking earlier this month in the Dominican Republic, NORCECA President, Cristobal Marte Hoffiz announced that all the teams from his confederation will have the opportunity to play and train with local teams before entering in the fabulous event.

The visits of those teams have been coordinated with Hoffiz and the diplomatic authorities of the Japanese Embassy in Santo Domingo and the support of Japanese sporting goods corporations as Molten and Mizuno.

“We are very pleased with the support being received from the authorities of Japan through the diplomatic channels in the Dominican Republic as well as from two distinguished collaborators of NORCECA like Molten and Mizuno,” Marte Hoffiz said.

The T&T women who made their FIVB World Grand Prix debut last year and will feature no fewer than five overseas-based professionals - Channon Thompson, Krystle Esdelle, Renele Forde, Sinead Jack, Darlene Ramdin - will be received by the city of Hemiji and its volleyball team Hemiji Victorina which is coached by the legendary former setter Yoshi Takeshita.


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