A last minute arrival and lack of sleep cost St Lucia their first match at the Under-21 World Volleyball Championships in Umag, Croatia.
Agustin Faulkner and Coen Caesar (St Lucia) were no match for Edvarts Buivids and Pekmanis Reinis, in just 24 minutes they lost 21-4 21-13 to the Latvians.
“We tried to play our best,” said Caesar. “But we didn’t even have a chance to warm up.”
The team from St Lucia had to move heaven and earth to get to Umag in time. They left home on Tuesday but got stuck in London on Wednesday morning. “We had to wait for a flight to Croatia and couldn’t find a hotel in London,” said Faulkner. “Today (Thursday) we finally flew to Zagreb and after a long bus ride we arrived in Umag.” When they set foot in the Stella Maris Sports Complex the guys were just in time to change into their sports gear. After a crushing first set loss, the St Lucia pair recovered in the second.
Faulkner: “We got warmed-up, we got into the groove and could read their game better,” said Faulkner. “Believe me, this was not our best, we are tired, we didn’t get much sleep these last days. The first thing we are going to do right now is eat and sleep…and do better tomorrow.”
It is the first time a team from St Lucia qualified for the Under-21 World Championships. In fact, this year the Caribbean island also qualified for the Under-23 and Under-19 events. Seventeen-year-old Faulkner will also compete at the Under-19 World Championships in Porto in July.