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Junior volleyballers looking to bring back gold from Guadeloupe

  • READY TO PLAY: Gaege Smith will lead a 12-member junior boys’ national volleyball team at the 9th Annual Junior Caribbean Volleyball Championships which will be played from July 21-29 in Guadeloupe.

  • DOUBLE BLOCK: Two youth volleyball players go up for a double block in this file photo. The Bahamas’ junior boys’ national volleyball team is preparing to play in the 9th Annual Junior Caribbean Volleyball Championships, from July 21-29 in Guadeloupe.

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: Jul 18, 2013

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With just three training days remaining, the 12-member junior boys’ national volleyball team will work on what they call the final pieces, perfecting signals needed for plays and creating an open lane for communication.

Having already established a strong chemistry, the team is hoping that the new adjustments will complete the puzzle, which will lead to them winning the 9th Annual Junior Caribbean Volleyball Championships. This year’s tournament will be played in Guadeloupe, from July 21-29. The Bahamas will go up against Barbados, Martinique, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States Virgin Islands and host country Guadeloupe.

The Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF) ratified the team and coaching staff earlier this month. Members include Gaege Smith, Rajahl Moxey, Anthony Pratt Jr., Tareves Eneas, Antonio Jennings, Avery Moxey, Anthony Misiewich, Brandon Bethel, Kenton Dawkins, Eugene Stuart and Christopher Cash. De’Vince Smith and Lloyd Davis are the coaches.

“This is not our first time playing together. As a result we have created a pretty good chemistry which is a big plus for us,” said assistant captain Justin Smith. “The team has been together from last year November, working very hard in practices and tournaments. I’ve seen tremendous growth in all of us, and I know the coaches had a hard time selecting players for this team. That is a positive sign as we work toward rebuilding volleyball.

“Everyone is fully aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we’ve been working around those so we can become a better team. One of our weaknesses is communication. If we can perfect that, and execute all of our plays, I think we will be able to play for the gold. Our blocking, hitting and service are other strong points, we just need to work harder in the backcourt. That will be crucial for us. Rajahl is the captain, he and Gaege were the only two players who competed in the last tournament. Rajahl will be able to give us some advice on how things will go and Gaege will be able to open the game more, since he is the setter. Last time, Gaege didn’t get that much playing time, but we are confident that he is ready and will lead us. He knows what to expect and is better equipped in certain situations, unlike in the past.”

The junior national team is just one of three squads the BVF will send to competition this summer. Both the youth girls and senior men are expected to leave in early August. The youth girls will head to Trinidad and Tobago, August 7-12, and the senior men will head to St. Maarten, from August 9-12.

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