The quarterfinals of the GBSSAA: Oriel Knowles/Rozena Nesbitt Volleyball High School Volleyball play-offs got off to a blazing hot start this past Friday, November 8 and set up what should be an interesting pair of semifinal clashes.
The top senior boys teams went head-to-head as their journey to this year’s title commenced. The number three seeded Lucaya International Buccaneers advanced past the first round and will take on the number one seeded Sunland Stingers this coming Wednesday, November 13. Meanwhile, the number four seeded Bishop Michael Eldon Warriors will go head-to-head with the number two seeded Tabernacle Falcons.
At the St. George’s Gymnasium this past Friday, the Bucs only needed to sets (2-0) to oust the small, but feisty Eight Mile Rock Blue Jays.
Buccaneers’ head coach, Florian Parisod said, their first round match was a confidence booster, overall. As they move forward to face a rested Stingers team, the Bucs’ sideline maestro is looking for his team to carry that momentum into Wednesday’s contest.
“I feel we played an easy team but we should have played better. We had a good start but the players kind of fell asleep. But I think we need to do better.
“We have a good team and the players are really starting to understand the line-up and the game. So, I’m confident heading into the next few games.”
While the Bucs’ start to the season was not the smoothest, Parisod commended his guys for adjusting so quickly through a shortened season.
“The beginning was a little bit difficult; we didn’t have much time to practice. We had only a week or two of practice. We also don’t have a gym at our school so it was different practicing on grass.
“It took the players a little while to get used to playing indoors but I think we’re playing better and better together.”
The Buccaneers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the opening set, looking to set the tone early on. The Bucs’ lead quickly ballooned to 9-0.
The mistakes continued to pile up for the Blue Jays in the first set as the Buccaneers ran away easily to score the match’s first win, 19-8.
The Blue Jays put up more of a fight in the early stages of the second set, putting pressure on the Bucs’ defense. LIS wouldn’t break though as both teams played to a 7-7 score early on in the final set.
LIS continued to look for ways to put the Blue Jays away but the resiliency of the Blue Jays was infectious, keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats. The competition got tight later in the set though, as both teams were tied at 16 apiece with neither team giving an inch.
However, the Bucs broke the tie and took full control and held on to win the second set, 19-17.
In the second play-off contest of the day, the Falcons survived a three-set thriller to knock off the St. George’s Jaguars, 2-1.
The Jaguars opened the first set with a scorching hot streak serving the ball. Dwayne Gayle kept the Falcons reeling as his six straight aces gave the Jags a quick 6-0 lead.
The Falcons, though, quickly recovered and had the Jaguars on their toes. With the Falcons leading 18-15, a Jaguars’ spike during play went out of bounds and gave the Falcons the 19-15 victory in the first set.
The Falcons looked to sustain that momentum in the second set but could not shake the Jaguars off. The Jaguars eventually held a 13-12 lead halfway through the second set.
Nonetheless, the Falcons battled back to take a 15-14 lead before the Jaguars tied things up at 15 apiece.
In the end the Jaguars were able to hang close and steal the second set away from the Falcons, 19-17.
The Falcons gained the early momentum in the third and final set and took a 5-1 lead. The teams switched sides once the Falcons possessed the 8-5 advantage.
Costly mistakes down the stretch allowed the Falcons to run away with the 15-9 final set win. In the final quarterfinal match of the day, the BMES Warriors made short work of the Jack Hayward Wildcats, 2-0.
The Warriors blitzed to a 19-4 victory in the first set, and finished the Wildcats off 19-14 in the second set.
Over at the Jack Hayward Gymnasium that Friday, the junior and senior girls wrapped up their regular season.
In junior girls’ play, the BMES Warriors defeated the Falcons, 2-1. The Falcons won the first set 19-12 but the Warriors bounced back to take the final two sets, 19-16 and 15-13.
In senior girls’ action the LIS Buccaneers defeated the St. Paul’s Saints 2-0 (19-8; 19-12). Concluding the senior girls portion of play were the Warriors, vanquishing the Falcons 2-0 (19-11; 19-12).
The junior boys’ play-offs kick into high gear today, November 11 at the St. George’s and Jack Hayward Gymnasiums.
Over at the JHH Gymnasium, the Stingers will face the Jack Hayward Junior Stars at 3:45 p.m., followed by the Blue Jays taking on the Falcons at 4:15 p.m. At the St. George’s Gym, the Warriors go head-to-head with the Sister Mary Patricia Russell Panthers at 3:45 p.m., followed by the Jaguars taking on the Buccaneers at 4:15 p.m.
The junior boys semifinals will be contested on Wednesday, November 13 at both gymnasiums beginning at 3:30 p.m.
The junior and senior girls’ play-offs will have both gymnasiums buzzing with action on Tuesday, November 12. At the JHH Gymnasium beginning at 3:30 p.m., the Jack Junior Stars take on the LIS Buccaneers followed by the BMES Warriors set to take on the St. Paul’s Saints at 3:45 p.m. wrapping up junior girls’ action.
Also at that gym in senior girls play, the BMES Warriors will take on the Jack Hayward Wildcats at 4:15 p.m., followed by the Mary Star Crusaders facing the LIS Buccaneers at 4:30 p.m.
Over at the St. George’s Gymnasium, the Panthers take on the Stingers at 3:30 p.m. in junior girls’ play-off action. The Blue Jays versus the Falcons will follow at 3:45 p.m. Closing out the day in senior girls’ action, the Stingers will face the Blue Jays at 4:15 p.m., followed by the Jaguars taking on the Falcons at 4:30 p.m.
Once the junior and senior girls’ quarterfinals are decided, the semifinal round will commence on Thursday, November 14 at both gymnasiums beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Finally, the top two teams in both boys’ and girls’ divisions will compete to be crowned this year’s champions on Friday, November 15 beginning at 3:30 p.m. A small admission fee will be charged on Friday in aid of championship trophies and gymnasium lights, according to the GBSSAA. Free water is expected to be distributed by NEMA as well.