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Defenders win own volleyball tourney

They outlasted the International Jammers in five tough sets
  • The Scotiabank Defenders defeated the International Jammers in five tough sets in the men’s championship match at the Defend Ya Spike volleyball tournament. They prevailed, 20-25, 25-16, 25-20, 23-25 and 15-13. FILE PHOTO

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: May 15, 2012

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Five sets were needed to determine the winners, in the men's division, of this years Defend Ya Spike volleyball tournament, which wrapped up this weekend at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.

The host team, the Scotiabank Defenders, pounded their way to a 20-25, 25-16, 25-20, 23-25 and 15-13 win over the International Jammers. The Defenders were led by Shedrick Forbes and Prince Wilson while the Jammers relied heavily on Dellan Brown.

Brown was the go-to-man for the majority of the game for the Jammers, clearing the net on a number of occasions and stuffing the Defenders’ hitters. From the backcourt, Brown was drilling the ball through the attempted blocks, bringing Wilson and Forbes to their knees at times, in attempts of making perfect passes. When Forbes managed to scoop it up, setter Tony Simon would feed either Wilson or Ian “Wire” Pinder for kills. That plan worked for three points, but the Jammers made the adjustment stopping the Defenders' offensive attack. The big blocks set up by Brown left Wilson frustrated. His next three attacks from the left side sailed outside. The team also fell down on passing, and as a result, Simon was unable to set Byron Ferguson in the middle. The Jammers ran off five unanswered points before Forbes was able to break service.

He said: “I think the game went well for the most part. We had some ups and downs during the game, but all-in-all we played hard. We were able to play as a team and pull through so we can come out with the victory. The main thing that helped us was the fact that we were disciplined. We stayed to our game and played our ball. We had big players come through in the end so that was enough to make it happen.”

The Defenders finished as the runner-up last year. The first title in the annual tournament was won by the Caribbean All-stars. That team did not compete this time around. The tournament welcomed several new teams including the International Jammers, which competed in both the men and women’s divisions.

Brown said: “In the end we just couldn’t finish. We had a few unforced errors which caused us the game. We had an inexperienced setter and that played a factor because a few times he made some poor selections which should have not been made. The aim was to take away from the middle blockers and run the outside but we weren’t finishing on the attacks. Overall, it was a good experience because we have never played together as a team and we are taking it one game at a time.”

The male squad from the University of the West Indies (UWI) finished third and the Defenders’ junior team ended up fourth.

Winning the women’s title was the International Jammers defeating UWI 25-20, 25-18, 18-25 and 25-16. Third place went to GC Forster and the Scottsdale Vixens finished fourth.

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