Digging, hitting and serving let Saint Lucia down as they lost to St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association boys championship in Phillipsburg, St Maarten on Sunday.
St Vincent and the Grenadines lost the opening set to the defending champions, but went on to dominate the next two, before holding on for a fourth-set victory, 20-25, 25-11, 25-17, 25-23.
The new champions relied heavily on outside hitter Ronaldo Franklyn to carry their attack. He topped all scorers with 17 points. For Saint Lucia, middle blocker Anton Richards had just nine points, including six kills and three blocks.
Germain Elvin, coach of Team Saint Lucia, said “This is a new feeling for us, because we usually retain the junior championship. However we are not seeing it as a total defeat but instead acceptance that there is another competitor in the pool. During the game we tried at first to slow down the pace as we realized that they were more accustomed to a faster paced game.
“It worked for a while but they got the better of us in the second set. We picked up momentum again in the fourth set, but during that game we made at error at 23 all, and the final point that they got was a defensive error.
“I still think that we have the capability to win but it is just that we made some decisions that cost us the fourth game; had that not been the case we probably would have taken them in five.”
Two Saint Lucians made the All-Tournament Team. Alexander Augier was named best setter, and Anton Richards got the award for best middle blocker, but St Vincent and the Grenadines took four of the nine individual honours on offer.
PHOTO CREDIT: Oris Robinson