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Bermuda girls volleyball teams head to Florida

Geared up the challenge: Bermuda under-18 girls volleyball team (Photograph supplied)

Three girls volleyball teams will leave Bermuda today to compete in the Florida Holiday Challenge.

Bermuda will be represented by under-14, under-15 and under-18 age groups at the two-day event at Daytona Beach, with Braedon Cooke coaching the older age group, Mike Gazzard leading the under-15s and Allison Settle overseeing the youngest team.

Cooke, in charge of the side for the first time at this tournament, views the competition as an opportunity for players to potentially be scouted by colleges and universities in the US.

“The Paradise Hitters programme makes the trip annually to Daytona for this tournament,’’ Cooke said.

“This is my first year as head coach for the under-18 girls, so I’ll be experiencing this tournament myself for the first time.

“However, as I have played in the United States during my high-school years, I have grown up around these tournaments and have seen the level of play that our team will have to go up against.

“All I can say is that our girls will have their work cut out for them. At the under-18 level it is very competitive, as most of these girls are looking to be scouted to play in college/university or have already been selected to play in college.

“It is a very high pace and physical game, both on offence and defence, and all the teams that will be there will be playing smart and always looking for a way to win a point.”

Despite the expected elevated playing level, Cooke is positive that their is enough ability within the camp to prove competitive

“I have full confidence that our girls will perform very well,” he said.

“They have been working hard and pushing themselves over these last couple of months to be in the best possible place to be competitive at this tournament.

“With good leadership under our captains Kate Marcotte and Caitlyn Bento, we as coaches believe that they will work hard to push each other to bring out the best of each and everyone of our players.

“Both my assistant coach, Hashema Heylinger, and I believe that if our girls play strong while minimising the errors on our side of the net, there is no telling how far they can go.

“We have been training twice a week since the beginning of September. The girls also play in the winter league here on the island on Monday nights, which we use as development games to work on different types of line-ups.”

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Published December 08, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated December 08, 2023 at 7:40 am)

Bermuda girls volleyball teams head to Florida

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