Wildey Gymnasium, St Michael, 2018-01-25: Defending girls champions Harrison College and Queen’ College will clash in what should be a keen battle of the Massy Stores schools’ volleyball league finals while The Lodge School boys will square off against the Barbados Community College.
The boys champions QC did not advance from the playoff rounds to feature in Wednesday’s semis which attracted a large crowd of supporting students and parents at the Wiley Gymnasium.
The Lodge headlined the four matches with Kadeem Morris leading his school to a 25-12, 19-25, 15-13 win over Christ Church Foundation. Akiel Oxley and BSSAC high jumping champion Nathan Wallis had looked like they would have led Foundation to a win over Lodge from one set down.
However, after surging from 6-10 to 12-11, in the decider, Foundation missed an easy overset and then faltered badly for Lodge to clinch the game and a spot in next Wednesday’s finals. Both Oxley and Wallis proved to be the perfect foil for the attacking power of Morris.
After losing the first set Foundation rebounded in spite of Morris getting tremendous support from the likes of Che Taylor and libero Shamandra Shillingford who seemed more at ease than when she plays division one with the girls.
Lodge seemed in control of the deciding set with Morris being unstoppable in attack before Foundation counter locked the scores at 11 and then snatched a one point advantage. After a Lodge timeout Foundation lost the plot when a sure point over pass saw Nkosi Herbert dumping the ball into the net in his side of the court.
Oxley swatting the next ball out of court and and then a passing error handed Lodge game and match point 14-12. A desperation attack from Oxley was blocked out of bounds. However, with the next play being set around Morris he thundered the ball into the court to take his team into a volleyball finals for the first time in over 10 years.
BCC suffered no such drama as they easily rolled over St. Leonard’s boys 21-11, 21-12. Coach Laron Knight enjoyed the luxury of having a number of junior nationals in his line up to rotate his court six without affecting the team’s performance.
The girls’ finals should be a cracker with both HC and QC boasting a number of junior national players. With Ashley Jordan and Janiyah Drakes leading the assault HC continued their dominance over Foundation 25-14, 25-21. While Queen’s with Aaliyah Durant, Shamar Boyce, Janina Mayers and Rihanna James moved past BCC girls 25-18, 25-14 in spite of the presence of six-footer Tiandre Stuart.