Saint Lucia have entered a men’s and women’s team in this week’s inaugural FIVB U17 Beach Volleyball World Championships, being hosted at the Playa Tamarindos in Acapulo, Mexico.
Reports are that 72 teams from 35 countries began main draw pool play on Wednesday.
According to a release from the the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), “the future development of the Olympic sport of Beach Volleyball [is] clearly the prevailing vision.” The new tournament continues until Sunday.
Men and women are split into six pools of six teams each for five round-robin matches within their respective pools. The top four teams from each pool will then advance to the knockout, single-elimination rounds of the tournament to eventually lead to the first FIVB U17 titles.
Both Saint Lucia’s men’s and women’s teams were drawn in Pool C. The women’s team features half of Saint Lucia’s team to the 2014 Youth Olympics, Skye Mondesir, alongside Nikita Greenidge. The men’s team comprises Mehki Charles and Lurick Simon.
On Wednesday, Charles and Simon, ranked 14th, lost 4-21, 6-21 to the 11th-ranked Australian team of Jack Gregory and Alek Ryan. On Thursday, Saint Lucia’s men play 23rd-ranked Russians Kirienko and Gorbenko and second-ranked Canadians Jhajj and Vernon Evans.
The 15-ranked Saint Lucia women opened with a 5-21, 4-21 loss to the 22nd-ranked Mexican pair of Daniela Torres Pimentel and Alejandra Tapia Martinez. Mondesir and Greenidge are set to meet 10th-ranked Gomez and Gomez of Costa Rica and third-ranked Honzovicova and Pluharova of the Czech Republic, and on Friday they face 27-ranked Turkey, with Dogan and Ilgin.
This year’s FIVB U17 World Championships is the second of the four age-group tournaments to be held in 2014. Poland hosted the FIVB U23 World Championships in June and still to be played are the FIVB U21 World Championships in Cyprus and the FIVB U19 World Championships in Portugal.