Male spikers ready to take the next step!
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Sep 05, 2013
Now that two new faces have been added to the men’s national volleyball squad, quite a bit of shuffling around is expected to be done, in an attempt to raise the level of play at the NORCECA 2013 Men Continental Championships.
Starting setter on the junior boys’ team, Gaege Smith, will now play and assist Tony Simon with his duties on the senior squad. Smith will be joined by Rajahl Moxey who served as captain for the junior team that recently competed at the 9th Annual Junior Caribbean Volleyball Championships. Romel Lightbourne was also added to the team, which leaves for Langley, British Columbia, Canada, on September 19. The Bahamas will represent the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) at the tournament that will run September 21-29.
The eight-day competition features the top teams playing under the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation’s (NORCECA) umbrella. The six teams from the NORCECA continental ranking and three champions from zonal competitions such as the AFECAVOL, ECVA and CAZOVA are represented. The Bahamas is the CAZOVA Champions. Other teams competing are the United States of America (USA), Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and St. Lucia.
According to the team’s head coach, Raymond Wilson, The Bahamas stands a good chance in winning a number of the games, especially if they play consistent volleyball. Wilson said consistency is the key at this level.
“The team is playing really good, and they are very focused,” Wilson revealed. “The core of the team has been playing together for more than 10 years so basically they know each other. When we add in other players it is never really a hard task, in terms of adjusting. The most important thing about this team is the members have all studied the game. They’ve become students of the sport, so the smart quick plays and adjustments are made on the court amongst themselves.
“The key will be consistency. They all know that this is a different level so they are anticipating and expecting more. The difference between us and the other teams will not be the ability; our players can play with the best. We must be consistent, especially in games against Canada, Cuba, the USA and the Dominican Republic. The error ratio must be very small, few mistakes on service, attacks and setting. How they are playing, presently. I think that they are in a good position to shock the world. We could end up in the top three if we push hard and press on.”
The team recently returned home from the NORCECA 2nd Round Qualifier for the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) Men’s World Championships. That qualifier was held in August, and the squad was second to Barbados who pulled off a four-set win over The Bahamas in the final, 25-15, 22-25, 25-17 and 25-23. Captain for Team Bahamas Prince Wilson collected the best scorer, best spiker and best server awards while Jamal Ferguson was named the best libero, best defender and best receiver. Both were named to this squad that will be competing in the NORCECA 2013 Men’s Continental Championships.
Other team members are Shedrick Forbes, Simon, Smith, Moxey, Renaldo Knowles, Lightbourne, John Isaacs Jr., Enderich Rahming and Byron Ferguson.
Raymond Wilson added: “We have a lot of young players, so we are trying to work with them while keeping in the frame of 18 players whose names were submitted into the FIVB’s database by the federation. This way, all players are given a fair opportunity to play and it helps with exposure and the rebuilding exercise that we may have to start in a couple of years.
“The federation is being mandated by NORCECA to put more of the younger players on display. This was handed down to all federations in NORCECA. If you look at it, we didn’t have Romel, but he’s on the team this time around. The men’s team is up-and-coming so we have a number of players to select from which is good. This process helps with the rebuilding, that way we don’t have to rebuild after players decide that they no longer want to play. There will be a pool of players, who would have the experience and exposure and can be filtered in.”
The NORCECA 2013 Men’s Continental Championships will be played at the Langley Sports Centre. The groupings and schedule will be released on September 18.