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Bermuda women impress in Eastern Caribbean beach volleyball tournament

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Impressive: Megan Hands and Hailey Moss finished fourth in St Lucia (Photograph by Oris Photography)

Bermuda women finished an impressive fourth at the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association Senior Beach Volleyball tournament in St Lucia.

Megan Hands and Hailey Moss recorded three wins and one loss in the pool stage of the competition before defeating Shanella and Shania Harris of St Kitts & Nevis 2-1 in the quarter-finals.

The pair then lost 2-0 to Grenada’s Thornia Mitchell and Renisha Stafford in the semi-finals and just missed out on a bronze medal when going down 2-0 to Dominican duo Zahidu Henry and Nyla Edmund

While disappointed to miss out on a medal, Hands was pleased with the team’s performance.

“Making it to the semis after a close game in the quarter-finals was very rewarding, especially since we hadn’t trained together since December,’’ Hands said.

“Although losing in the bronze medal match was disappointing, I was very proud of how we played.”

Moss also highlighted the fact that she had not had an opportunity to work with Hands before heading off to St Lucia.

“I think Megan and I played really well together considering we haven’t had the opportunity to train together much,’’ Moss said.

“We played a great game in the quarter-finals but just fell short in the semis against the winning team.

Hailey Moss in action (Photograph by Oris Photography)

“It was a little disappointing losing the bronze medal match against Dominica since we had beaten them the previous day but I’m still proud of how we played.”

While the women performed above expectations, the men’s pair of Benjamin Barnett and Kyle Hamilton finished ninth of the twelve teams. Barnett and Hamilton started off well with a 2-1 victory against Bill Clarke Frederick and Mervin Mervel Mingo of Dominica, before they lost to 2-1 to Sheldon Descartes and Joseph Clercent of St Lucia.

In the round of 12, Barnett and Hamilton were beaten 2-0 by the Antigua pair of Adrian Constant and Jamarie James.

Brandon Sousa, co-president of the Bermuda Volleyball Association, was pleased with how the two teams performed in St Lucia.

“We, the BVA, are extremely proud of our four participating senior players,’’ Sousa said.

Kyle Hamilton and Benjamin Barnett in action (Photograph by Oris Photography)

“Their finishes at this Easter Caribbean Volleyball Association Senior Beach Championship are a testament to the continued development and growth of elite beach volleyball in Bermuda.

“These two teams represented Bermuda well and we look forward to continued development and success in the future.”

Meanwhile, the island’s juniors put up a great display at the indoor Nike Boston Volleyball Festival.

The girls under-12 team finished 20th of 33 teams at the tournament and coach Kamryn Martins was excited by the way her team performed at a competition where they were appearing for the first time.

Bermuda volleyball juniors at Nike Boston Volleyball Festival (Photograph supplied)

“We are extremely proud of these girls for taking on competition they have never experienced before,’’ Martins said.

“Day one was a tough day with one win and two losses. Day two our girls won three of three games, which placed them in the bronze bracket.

“Unfortunately, we lost our only game on day three, but the girls had a tough fight in their second set. These girls took on some tough competition and put up a good fight. We look forward to seeing these girls compete in years to come.”

The under-13 girls secured 36th position out of 50 teams, with coach Valerie Martins full of praise for the youngsters.

“We are beyond proud of their performance in Boston,’’ she said.

“They have been working so hard leading up to this tournament and they applied all the skills and techniques. They won a few matches and lost some tough close matches, but they represented the BVA with great pride.”

The girls under-14 finished 50th in a competition which had 85 teams. Coach Allison Settle felt the team delivered more than what was expected.

“The girls exceeded our expectations with their level of play,’’ Settle said.

“Both the under-14s and under-13s finished first in their pool on Saturday. On Sunday, the under-14s made it to the finals of their bracket, and the under-13s lost their games but played exceptionally well.

“Both teams should be very proud of themselves and their performance in Boston.”

The most impressive of the Bermuda sides was the girls under-15 squad, who secured fifth position out of 49 teams. Cailey Longworth, the assistant coach, was delighted by the team’s efforts.

“Congratulations to the Paradise Hitters under-15 girls on an incredible weekend of volleyball,” Longworth said.

“This result was a true team effort and we are very proud of what this team has accomplished.

“This is the best Bermuda volleyball team result in a US based tournament, junior or senior, that the Bermuda Volleyball Association has seen.

“Thank you to all our parents, sponsors, and the Bermuda Volleyball Association for your continued support. Together, we have created a under-15 girls team that can compete and be successful at any International tournament.”

The boys under-14 side, coached by Andrew Soares came out seventh from the 15 participating teams.

“It’s been a great tournament for the Big Wave Riders under-14 boys team,’’ Soares said.

“They got off to a strong start on Friday, going 2-1, finishing second in their pool and advancing to the top division.

“Saturday results weren’t what we had hoped, with the team losing several hard-fought and tight games. There is no doubt the boys can compete at this level.

“Sunday we lost in the silver bracket semi-final match. The boys proudly represented themselves, their team, and Bermuda. We look forward to coming back and competing next year.”

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Published February 28, 2024 at 1:14 pm (Updated February 28, 2024 at 1:15 pm)

Bermuda women impress in Eastern Caribbean beach volleyball tournament

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