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Calypso Spikers chase Norceca Cup
This country’s senior women’s volleyball team will serve off what is expected to be a hectic five months of international competition when they compete in the Norceca Women’s Challenge Cup in Edmonton, Alberta Canada from tomorrow until Sunday.
The locally-based ‘Calypso Spikers’ led by captain Renele Forde and technical staff duo Susan Pierre (manager) and coach Francisco Cruz left on Monday night and were joined by the overseas-based players on arrival yesterday.
The teams will play round-robin pool matches at the end of which the top-ranked teams from each pool will play for the title at the Edmonton Expo Centre Hall D, from which the winner will qualify to the FIVB Volleyball Nations League Challenge Cup Finals.
T&T will compete in Pool A of the six-team qualifiers with host Canada tomorrow (Thursday) and Costa Rica (Friday) while Pool B comprises Cuba, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua.
Puerto Rico, Cuba and Canada are currently ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in Norceca while seven-time champions of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) T&T, Costa Rica and Nicaragua are seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.
T&T is coached by Cuban-born Cruz and the team includes the overseas-based quartet of former captain Krystle Esdelle (Pursaklar/Turkey), Channon Thompson (Ankara Numune (Turkey)/Foton Tornadoes (Philippines), Darlene Ramdin (Generika-Ayala Lifesavers/Philippines) and Forde (Svedala/Sweden) all included in the 11-player roster.
In addition, the vastly experienced duo of Kelly Ann Billingy, a former captain and vice-captain Jalicia Ross-Kydd, the other are Afiya Alexander, Kiune Fletcher, Mikela Mc Gillvery, Afesha Olton and Canada-based Taija Thomas.
However, a notable absentee is middle-blocker Sinead Jack who is coming off a hectic season with top Turkey Super Liga club, Galatasaray, who were losing semi-finalists in both their domestic and the Confederation European Volleyball (CEV) Women’s Champions League play-offs earlier this month.
Renele Forde (Svedala/Sweden), Krystle Esdelle (Pursaklar Belediyesi/Turkey), Channon Thompson (Ankara Numune (Turkey) & Foton Tornadoes (Philippines), Darlene Ramdin (Generika-Ayala Lifesavers/Philippines), Kelly Ann Billingy, Afiya Alexander, Kiune Fletcher, Mikela Mc Gillvery, Afesha Olton, Jalicia Ross-Kydd, Taija Thomas.
Technical staff: Francisco Cruz (coach), Susan Pierre (manager)
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