It was beach volleyball at its best when St Lucia again hosted several international teams, during the ninth Leg of the 2013 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit at the beautiful and picturesque Pigeon Island Landmark.
Despite the inclement weather which one player described as “sporadic,” the competition provided excitement from opening day Friday, to a climatic finish Sunday evening under the lights.
The USA B team of David McKenzie and Austin Rester staved off a spirited Canada A outfit of Andrew Hinchey and Ryan Vandenburg 2-1 ( 21-23, 25-23, 15-8), to claim first
Both teams, featuring six footers, gave the lively crowd lots to shout about and kept them at the edge of their seats, in what turned out to be a highly entertaining three set thriller.
In winning it was revenge for the Americans who suffered at the hands of Hinchey and Vandenburg in their opening match on Friday, 2-0.
In reflecting on their journey in the tournament, McKenzie said: “For us it was a little bit challenging because we did not train much together before the tournament Our first match was really bad, but we started to put it together as the tournament progressed.”
McKenzie went on to say “we also had to battle with the sporadic weather. At times it was very hot and at other times there was rain.”
His partner Rester thought it was a proud achievement for them since they were able to beat teams who possess better rankings than them on the circuit.
Referring to the competition Rester said “the level of play was good and the overall tournament was great.”
En route to the title match McKenzie and Rester outplayed the Guatemalan combination of Andy Blanco and Erick Garrido 2-0 ( 21-13, 22-20), while Hinchey and Vandenburg off loaded Mexico’s Ulises Ontiveros and Tomas Aguilera also 2-0 ( 21-16, 21-16).
In the third place play off Ontiveros and Aguilera out-pointed Blanco and Garrido 2-1(21-15), 22-20, 15-9) to grasp the bronze medal.
The St Lucian teams of Julian Bissette and Joseph Clercent placed ninth and Gilian Octave and Coen Caesar placed 12th.
In the ladies division St Lucians Dania Hamilton and Samantha Mann placed eighth, with Jamilla Lansiquot and Kerin Neptune finished 12th.
This weekend St Lucians will see more beach volleyball action. The St Luca Volleyball Association will host the 2014 ECVA Youth Olympic Beach Volleyball Qualifier, from October 17-20 outside the Pigeon Island National Park. Teams which include St Lucia, St Vincent and Antigua will compete for a spot in the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics.