Chenoa & Denila and Sheldon & Clercent win women’s and men’s gold, respectively
Home teams swept the gold medals at last week’s Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) Senior Beach Volleyball Championships in Saint Lucia for both genders with Denila Prospere and Chenoa Evans celebrating victory in the women’s competition at Cul de Sac Bay near the capital Castries, and Sheldon Descartes and Joseph Clercent topping the men’s podium.
The men’s and the women’s teams of Saint Kitts and Nevis, both reaching the ECVA Beach Volleyball Championships podium in Saint Lucia, receive coach support via the FIVB’s Volleyball Empowerment programme aimed at supporting national teams around the globe. With the help of the programme, Shawn Seabrookes and St Clair Hodge of Saint Kitts and Nevis managed to qualify for last year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The women’s medallists at the 2023 ECVA Beach Volleyball Championship in Saint Lucia PHOTOS | norceca.net
In the women’s ECVA Championship final on Sunday, Chenoa & Denila persevered through a three-set battle against Thornia Williams and Renisha Stafford of Grenada on the way to a 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-11) win and the gold medals.
“We have been training hard, about five times a week. We have been active in tournaments since last November, so we were prepared for this,” Chenoa said. “We tried to keep the focus, and our movements, our fitness and our agility were better than those of the Grenadians. The errors we made were our own errors. Playing in the presence of friends and family gave a boost to our confidence.”
“Placing second, we are proud,” said Williams. “We are happy with the result. We had a good team spirit. We were supportive of each other. However, we made some simple errors, service errors, hitting the ball into the net.”
The bronze medals went to Brenda Allen and Genelle Howell of Saint Kitts and Nevis after a 2-1 (19-21, 21-13, 15-8) comeback victory over another Saint Lucia pair, Clio Phillip and Jemima Evans, in the third place match.
In the semifinals, Chenoa & Denila produced a 2-0 (21-14, 22-20) shutout of compatriots Phillip & Evans, while Williams & Stafford came back from a set down to take a 2-1 (15-21, 21-18, 15-13) win over Allen & Howell.
Zellene Edwards and Josanne Lewis of Antigua and Barbuda, Nyla Edmund and Tarmica Cabey of Dominica and Saquanna Duncan and Shanadia Sylvester of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were the other three duos who took part in the women’s tournament.
The men’s medallists at the 2023 ECVA Beach Volleyball Championship in Saint Lucia (Photo credits: norceca.net)
On the men’s side, Sheldon & Clercent mastered an emphatic 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) shutout of Seabrookes & Hodge of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the gold medal match to finish the tournament undefeated.
“The final was not that difficult for us because we used more techniques,” Clercent commented. “We knew we were approaching a more experienced team. We watched a few of their games and we didn’t slip or slide because we knew if we did, we would have been punished.”
“Overall, we are happy with our performance,” said silver medallist Hodge. “We came through a zone where we weren’t actively pushed, and in the final, we lost some of our focus, made some unforced errors, didn’t make the adjustments on court and that led to us dropping the championship.”
Antigua and Barbuda’s Adrian Constant and Jamarie James managed a 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) win over Bermuda’s Brandon Sousa and Ryan Davies in the bronze medal game.
A total of nine men’s pairs appeared on the sand court at Cul de Sac Bay, including also Asmond Franklyn and Martin Jad of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Keaun Reefe and Yahn Florent of Dominica, Darron Christofer Oxford and Isaac Nelson of Grenada, as well as two more home teams from Saint Lucia, Jaden Victor Rio and Anil Larcher and Fitz Gerald Victor Mario and Charles Anthony Sampson Blair.