The in-form Toco pair of Daneil Williams and Fabien Whitfield will lead five local teams into battle when the seventh and final leg of the NORCECA Continental Beach Volleyball Circuit takes places this weekend in Tobago.
The 42-team event, hosted by the T&T Volleyball Federation (TTVF), will feature 21 men and 21 women serves off on Friday and will end on Sunday at the Courland Heritage Park, Turtle Beach.
This will be the fifth time the TTVF is hosting a stop on the annual tour and the third straight occasion the final leg is being staged in T&T, with Tobago also be the final stop last year as well.
Eight years ago, the NORCECA event was held in Saith Park Chaguanas, and after a short hiatus it returned to Mission Beach, Toco in 2012.
The first final stop on the tour was then held at Maracas Bay in 2013 and last year, the T&TVF moved to Tobago and this year, the same venue would be retained.
In addition to Williams and Whitfield, who are coming off back-to-back bronze medal finishes in the fifth and sixth legs in Florida, USA and St Lucia, T&T will be represented in the men’s tournament by national indoor stand-out and reigning senior Caribbean “Most Valuable Player” Simon Blake and Colin Bernard (T&T-B), and the Tobago duo, of Kristen Trim and Kevin James (T&T-C).
Among the women, top local women’s pair Ayanna Dyette and Malika Davidson (T&T-A), as well as La Teisha “Chucky” Joseph and Apphia Glasgow (T&T-B) will fly the red, white and black flag.
This years’ main attraction is the chance to pick up valuable points towards next year’s Rio Olympics Games Qualification and due to its importance, some of the top teams from the world tour will be present.
They include, USA’s Phil Dalhausser, a gold medal winner at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and 2010 World Champion with his partner Lucena Nichola, and Casey Patterson and Jake Gibb, the top US team on the world tour currently.
Mexicans, Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros, the reigning Pan American Games champions are also listed to compete.
In the women’s competition, Americans Jennifer Kessey, an Olympic silver medal winner, and Emely Day, and countrywomen Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat are the main medal threats.
Men: Angela Fransua/Gino Hodge (Aruba); Elwyn Oxley/Ronald Rice (Barbados), Josh Binstock/Sam Schalk (Canada-A), Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk (Canada-B), Valenciano Sebastian/Alejandro Gonzalez (Costa Rica-A), Alexander Villega/Richard Smith (Costa Rica-B), Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez (Cuba-A), Karell Pina/Yendris Castillo (Cuba-B), Yahn Florent/Kerwin George (Dominica), Carlos Escobar/David Vargas (El Salvador), Moises Reyes/Erick Garrido (Guatemala), Mark Lewis/Ryck Webb (Jamaica), Agustin Matlo/Joseph Clercent (St Lucia), Juan Revuelta/Ricardo Galindo (Mexico-A), Juan Virgen/Lombardo Ontiveros (Mexico-B), Ruben Mora/Dany Lopez (Nicaragua), Daneil Williams/Fabien Whitfield (T&T-A), Simon Blake/Colin Bernard (T&T-B), Kristen Trim/Kevin James (T&T-C), Philip Dalhausser/Nicholas Lucena (USA-A), Jacob Gibb/Casey Paterson (USA-B).
Women: Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas (Canada-A), Melisa Humana/Taylor Pischke (Canada-B), Jessica Wolfenden/Stefania Gandolifi (Cayman Islands), Yuliana Gonzalez/Eugenia Ramirez (Costa Rica), Lianma Flores/Leila Consuelo (Cuba-A), Yanisleidis Sanchez/Lidiannis Echavarria (Cuba-B), Anna Xavier/Catherine Francis (Dominica), Kathaya Vasque/Maria Fernanda Vargas (El Salvador), Renisha Stafford/Thornia Williams (Grenada), Gina Flores/Martha Kerube (Honduras), Mannika Charles/Amber Bennett (US Virgin Islands), Danielle Perry/Kai Wright (Jamaica), Dania Hamilton/Skye Mondesir (St Lucia), Martha Revuelta/Anna Rios (Mexico-A), Claudia Rios/Gloria Santoyo (Mexico-B), Elia Torres/Claudia Machado (Nicaragua), Brenda Allen/Genelle (St Kitts/Nevis), Ayanna Dyette/Malika Davidson (T&T-A), La Teisha Joseph/Apphia Glasgow (T&T-B), Emily Day/Jennifer Kessy (USA-A), Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat (USA-B)