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Bermuda looking to improve

In with a shout: Lacoursiere sets as her Bermuda women’s team-mates look on at the recent Bermuda Open (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Bermuda Volleyball Association will be sending their men’s and women’s indoor teams along with a men’s beach team to the NatWest Island Games in Gotland, Sweden, which begin on June 24.

The men’s indoor team will be looking to improve on their fourth place finish from 2015 in Jersey. Returning outside hitters Daniel Fiddick, Brian Amaro, and Kyle Hamilton, will be joined by the return to the Games of middles Brad Meindersma and Eron Woods, and led by setter Brandon Sousa. With the offensive capabilities of these individuals, and a strong core group of players, the men’s team will be looking to continue to gel as a team.

First up for Bermuda will be Jersey, followed by Cayman Islands, Gotland, and defending champions Saaremaa. Head coach Jon Gazzard has been pushing for more aggressive play on offensive serving, as well as in the teams approach to serve receive, and is hopeful this approach with give the team the start they need to move through to the play-off round.

The women’s indoor team will be facing a very competitive pool this time. The Island Girls, who are seeded fourth, will be facing the three different bronze medallists from recent Games in round robin play. Their first opponents will be Greenland, followed by Gibraltar, Menorca and Aland. Head coach Elisabeth Rae is confident that the women will step up.

“The women have been training hard, and are ready for this challenge,” Rae said. “A unified team dynamic has emerged and we can’t wait to prove ourselves.”

Returning players Allison Settle-Smith, Allison Lacoursiere, Amber Lopes, Melisa Judd, Sy McPeek and Khianda Pearman Watson will bring valuable Games experience to the court and are boosted by key newcomers Christina Duff, Kathryn Dyck, Leticia Ferriera, Savannah Loder and Katrina McPhee.

Men’s beach volleyball will be represented by Ian Bucci and Kaz Orzlowski. Bucci has transitioned from the men’s indoor team to the beach and teaming up with Orzlowski, who is a newcomer to the sport. The team have been placed in a tough pool, facing Saaremaa (2nd place), Jersey (3rd place), Cayman (4th place) respectively in the last Games plus Isle of Man and Gotland 2.