The names Joe and Julian are not household St. Lucia names as yet, but if the Gods continue to smile on fair Helen, then soon they will be. Joe and Julian are the names of St. Lucia’s premier volleyball players. They are both slim and tall. They both are young and possess out of this world vertical jumping ability (over 38 inches).
Joseph Clercent hails from the community of Micoud where he attended secondary school; representing them in volleyball. After graduating he moved to Castries and joined up with the Jettsetters Volleyball Club and from there, the journey started. Joe as he is called, is 26 years of age and stands at 6ft 2 inches.
Julian Biscette stands a slim but well-built six foot five inches with amazing jumping ability. A graduate of St. Mary’s College and from the community of Babonneau, he was brought into the sport by a teacher/coach, Allister George and soon made his mark for St. Mary’s, on the Junior National Team and now the Senior Team.
Joe and Julian are clearly the top players on the St. Lucia Senior Male Volleyball Team, which is seeking a birth at the 2014 World Volleyball Championships in Poland. They will be leading the charge as St. Lucia play in the Third Round Qualification of the World Championships in Colorado Springs United States, May 13-19, 2014. St. Lucia will have to get past the USA, Guatemala and Haiti to be assured a spot in Poland.
Alongside Joe and Julian will be the Octave brothers, Jason and Gillan, while Dayne Williams and setter Servin Mongroo bring valuable experience to the team which is expected to feature young talents like, Tevin St. Jean
and Miguel Trim, both six footers who are expected to bolster the blocking of Team St. Lucia. The rest of the team includes, Jeff Desir, Kaji Charles, Keson Edmund and Rudy Avril.
However, where Joe and Julian are expected to stand out is on the beach where they have no back up. It is the pair, taking on the rest of the world for one of the few qualification spots open for the various Multi-Sport Games where they seek to play.
They have, like the St. Lucian ladies, already qualified for the Caribbean and Central American Games, scheduled for Mexico in November this year. They are now pursuing qualification for the 2015 Pan American Games in Canada and will soon be playing in the Continental Cup for a birth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Their first outing of the 2014 NORCECA Tour, in the Cayman Islands was bitter sweet, as they came in eighth in a 16 team event. They lost in a tough fight to Canadian pair of Cameron Wheelan and Michael Plantinga (21:12, 18:21, 15:9), beat Guatemalan pair Erick Garrido & Andy Blanco (21:17,21:12), lost to the eventual winners the USA pair, consisting of Olympian Todd Rogers and Theodore Brunner (21:9,21:12) and defeated Cayman pair Duncan Hamann and Ethan Manderson (21:13,21:07) to advance to the quarterfinals.
In the quarterfinals, in an unusual and strange twist, Joe and Julian were pitted against the same USA pair of Rogers and Brunner. Joe and Julian had a much more competitive game losing (21:16, 21:17). Rogers and Brunner were the eventual winners downing the other USA Team of Slick and Montgomery, (21:12, 21:18).
Whilst disappointed with the final results, Joe and Julian must be complimented for a good start to what is expected to be a difficult and extremely competitive 2014 NORCECA Tour.
According to Julian, “for our first tournament for the year, this not too bad, but we can and must do better. We have trained hard but will train even harder after this.”