OCHO RIOS, Montego Bay, Jamaica, November 16, 2019: United States Virgin Islands stayed in the hunt for a historic qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Women’s Beach Volleyball Tournament.
This after they swept host Jamaica 2-0 in their NORCECA Continental Cup Women’s First Round Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Qualifiers.
With crowd support firmly against them the United States Virgin Islands-A pairing of Melanie Valenciana and Taylor Nutterfield withstood the early energy from the Jamaica-A experienced duo, Kai Wright and Petal Smith to come out on top 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) in 30 minutes, and a 1-0 team lead for control of the best-of-three teams matches tie.
The ISV-B duo of Jade Vitt and Lisa Dietrich then expectedly defeated teenagers Danielle Tavia Watson and Selena Mitchell of Jamaica-B by a similar 2-0 margin (21-6, 21-12) to complete the 2-0 series sweep.
With the win, United Sates Virgin Islands now join already qualified CAZOVA top ranked Trinidad and Tobago, Eastern Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (ECVA) qualifiers, St Lucia and St Kitts & Nevis, and Central American duo, Nicaragua and Costa Rica in next years Second Round o qualification from which a minimum of two teams will continue in their quest for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games historic spots.
Commenting after their triumph the quartet of ISV women were all elated with their progress and were also delighted to have done in two straight matches against a tricky opponent.
Nutterfield said, “I’m super excited that we won our matches today. We believe the next leg is in Nicaragua around February 2020, so it will give us plenty of time to train and improve as a team, since we live far apart, and in general as a group for us to improve.
“We are just proud to be advancing and I am very happy to playing with Mel (Melanie) because she is a great partner.”
Dietricjh added, “We are really excited to have get the matches done in two and not have to go to the “Golden Super Set” because it would have opened the door for any outcome in the overall tie”.
She added, “Credit to Jamaica because they did play really well and their younger team is definitely one to look out for in the future because they played a great match, even though the scores may not reflect it”.
The men’s Second Round of qualifiers will also feature Trinidad and Tobago, United States Virgin Islands, St Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
Women Continental Olympic Games Qualifiers (CAZOVA First Round):
ISV-A d JAM-A 2-0 (21-14, 21-14)
ISV-B d JAM-B 2-0 (21-6, 21-12)