Nibbs inks first win for Phoenix Red in Power League opener
After a delayed March Pass, stirring renditions of the National Anthem and National Song, the latter by Sasha Klintz, McKay Andrew and Gawain James, words of encouragement from BVIAVA President, Sabinah Clement, Ms. Prudence Mactavious, on behalf of the Minister Responsible for Sport, Myron V. Walwyn and Patrick Harrigan, the Ag. Director of Youth Affairs and Sports, the Reds and Blues (playing in gray) took to the court for what would have been a much anticipated game.
AVCA National Player of the Year from her time at the University of Tampa Spartans, Danielle Selkridge is back in the Territory after her stellar season, but unfortunately her first match back home was highlighted more for the errors and rustiness of the players as opposed to the electric kills and blocks that have become Danielle’s trade mark.
The first set went to the Reds, 25-7, with Selkridge often forced to play too deep, nullifying her usefulness as a blocker or indeed when the ball got set up her effectiveness as a “killer”. Another up and coming star of the game, Valissia Brathwaite also played a deep role for the reds and the sparse crowd were given little opportunity to see her acrobatic leaps at the net, although she did tally 6 kills for the match along with 3 aces.
Whilst Brathwaite chose a more relaxed route, Selkridge was kept busy trying to encourage and organize her young side, which comes mainly from high school players.
Set two went to the Red’s 25-11 with Tyalia Nibbs coming into her own, first with 13 successive serves and then with some deft reverse overhead tips to force winners. In the third set she also went on a double digit service game to lead the Reds to a 25-15 win, finishing with 11 aces.
Selkridge ended up with 3 blocks, 4 digs and 1 kill.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Blues though as, despite the problems offensively, they did put together some defensive moves that with a little more co-ordination, communication and understanding could have caused the Reds some problems.
Kirsten Malone served throughout with venom, Ericka Wade made several valiant attempts to score winners, Annecha Graham blocked her little cotton socks off and Sharonda Pickering showed she can be a force to be reckoned with at the net.
The legends have not registered this season so the match ups between the Reds and the other Women’s teams may prove to be just as comfortable for the 2012 champions, but with Jacquie Weeks due to bolster the ranks of the Blues the season might yet have something special to offer.
With more games under their belt the girls should be able to give a much better account of themselves, but as a few have questioned would they not have been better off waiting to play in the High School League, which the Association announced would start by the end of the month.
Volleyball fans and players would also liked to have seem more of Selkridge and her talents on a night when the season opening failed to live up to its hype or the words of Mr. Harrigan who implored the teams to stay and watch games. “I want to commend those of you playing the game for keeping the game alive. But I also want to challenge you to try to bring at least 3 people to the games with you every time a game is going on. If we can do we will see a whole lot more people in the stands and you will play at a higher level if they are here cheering for you.”
Earlier during the Opening Ceremony, the BVIAVA President Sabinah Clement thanked the numerous supporters of Volleyball and wished all the players an injury free successful season and that not only is it fun but filled with fair play.
In the Men’s Division, Just Dream set down an early marker with a four set defeat of defending Champions, the Terminators, 25-20, 25-16, 30-32 and 25-16. For Just Dream Canice Marquis recorded 14 kills, 10 digs and 4 blocks, whilst Marlon Solomon finished with 7 kills, 7 blocks and 9 digs. The Terminators were led by Frandie Martin’s 11 kills, 14 digs and 3 blocks along with Denfield Solomon’s 5 kills, 8 digs and 2 blocks.
On Sunday, Achievers defeated Phoenix Black in thrilling 5 sets: 22-25, 14-25, 25-20, 25-17, 15-8, with Symone Penn finishing with 13 kills, 2 blocks and 1 dig, whilst Amadona Creese notched 12 digs and 1 ace. For Phoenix Black Kimasha Penn had 6 kills, 2 blocks, 5 digs and Allison Scatliffe, 8 digs and 3 aces.
The Guns then defeated Fire Power in 4 sets: 16-25, 25-23, 25-11, 25-21, with Clyde Potter Jnr. hitting 10 kills, Neville Brathwaite 8 and Trevor Burrell 7. Fire Power were led by Nigel Todman’s 6 blocks, 2 digs and 1 ace whilst Sirren Scatliffe had 3 kills, 2 blocks and 1 ace.