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Bermuda go back to basics in golden display

Bermuda's victorious women's volleyball team returned home in high spirits last night following their gold medal-winning display in St Maarten at the weekend.

Team Bermuda struck gold after prevailing against hosts St Maarten in the final of the first round of World Cup qualifiers on Sunday night.

Led by outside hitter Khimda Pearman-Watson's 20 points and superb defence, Bermuda came from behind to defeat St Maarten 21-25, 25-13, 25-16, 25-18 to claim the win and avenge an earlier loss to their hosts - their only defeat of the tournament - in their second match.

Bermuda went into the final having already advanced to the second round of World Cup qualifiers for the third consecutive time after achieving victories over the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla.

That Bermuda performed so admirably was truly remarkable given the team only received two months notice of the timing of the tournament in St Maarten, and comprised of a group of players that had never played together.

Elisabeth Rae, the Bermuda coach, cited cohesiveness and executing the basics of the game as central to the team's gold medal-winning display.

“The key to our success was executing our fundamentals properly and concentrating on the small things, winning one point at a time,” she said. “The team worked as a cohesive unit, playing defence and getting our tips up when it mattered the most.

“The team experienced a wealth of growth throughout the matches, and in the end it came down to team work.”

As well as winning the tournament, Bermuda copped four indivudual awards. Pearman-Watson was selected as the tournament's most valuable player and best outside hitter, while Allison Settle Smith, the Bermuda captain, and Amber Lopes were chosen as best server and best digger.

The second round of World Cup will take place next summer and will see Bermuda up against more formidable countries.

“We need to continue building our youth program and are encouraged by the performance this weekend of our players that came through the junior national team program, which represented half the team,” Rae said.

“To be successful in the future, we will continue working hard on fundamentals, team cohesiveness and looking for international tournaments for practice against the caliber of competition we will see in the next round of the world qualifiers.

“The Bermuda national team program dedicates a significant amount of time fundraising including player cash calls so we are able to participate in competitions at an international level. We are actively seeking sponsors to support us in this endeavour.”

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Published August 09, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 09, 2016 at 1:49 am)

Bermuda go back to basics in golden display

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