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NORCECA challenge for The Bahamas

Team looking to bounce back from straight sets loss
  • POWERING THROUGH: Byron Ferguson delivers a spike for Team Bahamas in this file photo. The Bahamas senior men’s national volleyball team is currently playing at the NORCECA 2013 Men Continental Championships, in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: Sep 26, 2013

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Hours before hitting the court to play Puerto Rico, in yesterday’s featured match, Team Bahamas used its early morning practice session to work on serve reception and side out situations, two areas they fell short in, against Cuba.

The Bahamas is currently playing at the NORCECA 2013 Men Continental Championships, in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. The game against Puerto Rico was the featured match for Group C. No result was available up to press time. The Bahamas is playing in Group C, along with Cuba and Puerto Rico.

On Monday, the match against Cuba lasted less than an hour with Cuba prevailing in straight sets, 25-16, 25-12 and 25-7. Just before the team took to the court against Puerto Rico last night, captain Prince Wilson confirmed a number of adjustments which should lead to a better performance.

He said: “Personally, the first game wasn’t as tough as we expected, knowing it was Cuba. I think we took ourselves out of sync and didn’t play at our best potential. One of our strengths on this team is serve reception, and we fell short in that area early in the game. I think our lack of confidence was the reason why we lost that game the way we did. At this morning’s practice, we focused on serve reception and side out situations. All we need to do is continue to have fun like we’ve been doing all year.”

Wilson was the best scorer for The Bahamas in the match against Cuba. He ended with eight points, all from spikes that were not returned. Setter Tony Simon had three successful attacks, and Byron Ferguson had three blocks. Jamal Ferguson had five digs, and Renaldo Knowles had two along with an ace. Abreu Rolando Cepeda was the best scorer for Cuba with 10 points, including three aces. He and Manzano Ricardo Calvo had two blocks.

The daily bulletin, which is the official statistics booklet from games played, has Ferguson in second in the blocks category. He has three kill blocks, two faults and four rebounds. Canada’s middle blocker Rudy Verhoeff leads the division with eight kill blocks and five rebounds.

No Bahamian player is listed in the top 10 attackers

category. Vaafuti Tavana leads that division with seven spikes and two shots for a total of nine, and a 77.78 percent success rate. Guerra Danger Jorber Quintana, from Cuba, also has seven spikes and three shots for a 70 percent success rate. Americans Murphy Troy and David Lee are third and fourth respectively, followed by Valdes Inovel Romero of Cuba. The only Caribbean player listed in the top 10 is Blanco Andy Alexis Leonardo, a middle blocker from Guatemala.

The best server thus far is Micah Christenson, from the United States. He has five aces and six serve hits. Cepeda is second with three aces and 11 serve hits. Sitting in seventh in the best diggers category is Bahamian Jamal Ferguson with five digs. He has four faults and seven receptions. Cuba’s libero player, Torna Keibel Gutierrez, has eight digs, three faults and three receptions. Lopez Tirso Ivan Pineda, from Guatemala, is second and Erik Shoji is third with seven and six digs respectively.

So far, the best setter is Dustin Schneider of Canada. Schneider has 11 running sets and 21 still sets. Simon is tied for sixth with three running sets and 55 still sets.

Canada’s Frederic Winters has seven excellent passes. He leads the best diggers division.

As a team, The Bahamas is fourth in spikes with 24 spikes. The team also has 24 faults and 37 shots for a total of 85 attempts. A total of 48 attempts, inclusive of 31 spikes, five faults and 12 shots, were posted by the USA which leads that division. The Bahamas is also fourth in the best blockers division with three kill blocks, eight faults and 14 rebounds. Canada has 22 kill blocks, nine faults and 13 rebounds. They are the leaders in that division.

The three Caribbean countries are in a three-way tie for fourth in the best servers division. Guatemala, St. Lucia and The Bahamas all have one ace each. However, The Bahamas has nine faults and 26 serve hits. Guatemala and St. Lucia have seven and eight faults respectively.

In the remaining three groups, diggers, setters and receivers, The Bahamas is in the top six.

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