St Lucia first in ECVA Group B Qualifier

St Lucia registered a professional 3-0 victory over St Vincent to claim the gold medal in their 2014 FIVB World Championship Women’s Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) Continental First Round Group B Qualifying Tournament at the Laborie Indoor Sports Facility, Laborie, St Georges, Grenada on Saturday night.
Led by eventual tournament “Most Valuable Player” Dania Hamilton’s 14 points and 10 from Indira Laurencin, St Lucia won 25-21, 25-17, 25-15 in 64 minutes to complete a remarkable run of four wins from as many matches in the tournament under coach Florian Combie.
As Group B winners, St Lucia now advances to the Second Round Group J four-team series involving Curacao (Group C-Second runner-up), Antigua (F-2 runner-up) and the third place team from the AFECAVOL Group Three qualifiers involving Panama, El Salvador, Belize and Bonaire.
St Vincent meanwhile goes into the Second Round Group K four-team qualifiers with First Round Group C winner US Virgin Islands, Group F third place team in British Virgin Islands and the runner-up from First Round Group G play featuring Panama, El Salvador, Belize, and Bonaire.
A confident Combie speaking after the match said the result was what he expected in terms of the victory, but the manner in which in which it was achieved was not.
“Our round-robin matches for me were much more intense than what we faced tonight in the final, but in the end I think the fitter and better prepared team prevailed in the competition.
Looking ahead Combie said his team’s immediate focus will be its preparations for the ECVA Championship in Antigua in November, along with working on any shortcomings their game may have encountered during the tournament.
A rather subdued Gifta Dujon, the team captain added, “We knew to expect a tough match and we came ready for it.  In the end we accomplished what we aimed to do which was to take the gold medal.
St Lucia displayed their dominance by capturing five of the eight individual awards. Dania Hamilton (St Lucia) was named Most Valuable Player, Best Spiker and Best Digger. The Best Services award went to Indira Laurencin (St Lucia) and the Best Libero was Kashima Noel (St Lucia).
Renisha Stafford (Grenada) was the Best Blocker and Best Scorer while Suyne Robins (St Eustatius) was named Best Setter.

Dania Hamilton of the St Lucia National Women’s Volleyball Team.

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