Grant, Blackman stay in medal contention

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T&T women’s beach volleyball duo Rheeza Grant and Abby Blackman stayed in contention for a quarterfinal spot at the 2017 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour fifth of seven legs in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, yesterday.

This after the local women, both former national indoor players ended the first day of round-robin play with a 1-1 Pool C record ahead of their final match today.

Grant and Blackman served off play in their four-team pool with a 21-14, 21-15 in the 30 minutes defeat of Dominican Republic’s Jubileth Payano and Camila Moreno.

However, in their second match on the day, Grant and Blackman went under to third seeded Americans, Jace Pardon and Lara Dykstra, who won in Varadero, Cuba, 9-21, 12-21.

In their final round-robin match this morning, Grant and Blackman, unbeaten on home soil so far this season, meet another USA duo, Delaney Knudsen/Corinne Quiggle) in a must-win clash to keep alive their hopes of a top two pool finish and a place in the quarterfinals.

However, national men’s duo, Josiah Eccles and Joel Theodore have no chance of competing for a medal after losing their fist two matches in Pool B.

Eccles and Theodore were outplayed by home-town players Alex Medina and Jamel Alexandre 8-21, 15-21 in 31 minutes and then fell to USA-B’s Stafford Slick and William Allen by the same 8-21, 15-21 scoreline in 30 minutes. .

Today, the T&T men will complete pool play versus Canada-A’s, Simon Fecteau-Boutin and Hugo Rosso-Bonneau. For the tournament Eccles was expected to be partnered by Tevin Edwards, however the latter was unable to make the journey and was replaced by Theodore.

Earlier this month, Eccles and Joseph were beaten by top player, Daneil Williams and his new playing partner, Daynte Stewart 16-21, 15-21 in the finals of the T&T Volleyball Federation Beach Qualifiers for the NORCECA Tour final two legs which are carded for Jamaica (November) and Cuba (December)

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