A young but experienced Trinidad & Tobago team rallied from two sets down to beat Curacao 3-2 in the final game of the opening night of the Cazova Senior Men's Volleyball Championships taking place at the National Cycling Velodrome, Couva.
At the earlier opening ceremony, the Honourable Darryl Smith, Minister of Sport & Youth Affairs welcomed the seven Caribbean teams to Trinidad & Tobago and applauded the Trinidad & Tobago Volleyball Federation (TTVF) for their efforts to host the tournament. "Some may discount the value of home court advantage, but I have seen with my own eyes how critical it is to sporting success. Most recently, we saw Team TTO emerge champions of the CCCAN and I believe the volleyball men can do the same. This venue is becoming a hub of activity for locals and foreigners alike with the hosting of a variety of sporting events, not just cycling. The versatility of the facility is undeniable and the Ministry and Sports Company will continue to advance the national sport tourism agenda but bringing high level competition to our shores."
Trinidad and Tobago will seek to defend the title they last won in 2014, here at home. The added incentive for all the participating teams (from Martinique, Suriname, Jamaica, Haiti, Barbados, Bahamas and Curacao) is a chance at 3rd round qualification to the World Championships in 2018. The top two teams from Cazova will advance to the Norceca Continental Championships in September 2017 which doubles as a World Championships qualifier.
Meanwhile, the senior women continue on their World Grand Prix journey as they play Hungary, Australia and host Mexico in Pool A competition from 7 to 9 July. The women will be hoping to build on their recent success at the Pan Am Cup in Peru where they finished 9th overall, one place higher than their previous ranking.
According to senior men's coach Sean Morrison their 5-set battle with Curacao was their sternest test but they will need to focus on their Pool competitors and not become over-confident. Team TTO next faces Suriname on Wednesday at 9:00pm, then Martinique on Thursday at the same time. The competition runs until 9 July on Centre Court at the National Cycling Velodrome