After defeating a pair from Honduras 21-19, 21-13 in their opening match in Group D, the Trinidad and Tobago players came within two points of victory in the second set of their second match before eventually being upset 20-22, 21-19, 15-10 by William Sanchez and Luis Castillo of Dominican Republic.
The defeat could have resulted in Williams and Whitfield not advancing to the knockout stage yesterday as they needed to finish at least second in the group to do so and their final match was their toughest.
The “Toco Boys” had to tackle Jose Luis Rubio and Josue Gaxiola, who had edged them in three sets for the bronze medal in the opening three weeks ago in Guatemala after going down in an even closer match when they clashed to determine the group winners two days earlier.
The Mexicans trounced Sanchez and Castillo 21-12, 21-11 in their opening match on Friday and later halted the Honduran duo 21-18, 21-17.
Whifield and Williams have reached at least the quarter-finals of the last five NORCECA tournaments, securing bronze medal in September in Florida, USA, and then right after in the penultimate leg of last year's seven-stage circuit a month later in St Lucia.
This is the first event at this level in over a year that T&T are not being represented in the female draw.
Top-ranked players Ayana Dyette and Malika Davidson had contested the last seven events.
The three-day tournament concludes today and the third leg will also take place in Mexico from Friday.