Chargers kept their hopes alive of winning the league with a 3-1 victory over Barbados Juniors last night at the Wildey Gymnasium when the Goddard Enterprises Limited Division One Volleyball League Competition resumed after a week’s break.
Juniors got off to a good start when they took the opening set 25-23 but the experienced Chargers unit did well to compose themselves and take command of the other sets 31-29, 25-16 and 25-23.
Chargers spiker Mark Lewis had a good night with some powerful shots like this one that he put past Barbados Juniors defenders Akeem Mayers (left) and Carlos Cyrus. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)
Chargers with the likes of current Barbados captain and setter Alain London, along with former Jamaican captain Mark Lewis to hit them big, and Nicolas Matthias and Rommel Agard based at the nets to block anything that threatened their defence, came roaring back after the first set loss. They led the comeback of the men in blue to tie the game at 1-1. But it was not an easy task.
Chargers had a one-point advantage, 8-7, at the first technical time out. But Juniors led by their captain Andriy Stapleton tied the scores at 11-11 during the second set. It seemed however that every time Juniors got a break they somehow managed to give it away and a four-point difference allowed Chargers to take the lead once more at 15-11 approaching the second technical time out of that quarter.
After that Juniors dug deep and brought themselves back into it thanks to Akeem Mayers who set a good ball and Stapleton finished the job with a shot down the middle to give the youngsters the lead 19-18. Stapleton going hard once again would send the ball outside the line to put the tally at 19-19. And just when the young upcoming talent thought about making up for it Chargers defensive team said no with some big blocks that would once again put them out front 23-21 when Juniors coach John Stuart called a time out.
Whatever Stuart said to Juniors gave them some motivation as they came out fired up and before one could blink the score was locked 29-29. But Lewis and Matthias with two nice shots gave Chargers the edge.
Then in the third set Chargers stamped their authority early moving to 8-5, then 16-12 and eventually made it look easy with a nine-point victory.
Chargers were then made to work for the victory. With both sides needing five points to win after Juniors did well to come from behind to lock the score at 20-20, Cyrus hit one into the net to give Chargers a one point lead. But Stapleton was to the rescue with three lovely spikes and that carried Juniors to 23. Chargers, though, with London in the middle setting some lovely balls to Lewis on the outside, tied the scores at 23-23. Then just when Juniors threatened to take the showdown into a fifth and decisive set, Stapleton erred when he served on the outside and Matthias sealed the game with a firm shot.
Chargers are currently second on the table behind Deacons and hoping for the traditional powerhouses to slip up over their next couple of encounters.
Also in action last night were Progressive who won 3-1 against Cawmere who took the first at 25-21 but lost their way as Progressive upped their play to win the next three sets 25-22, 25-16 and 25-18.
Deacons women also played and they won 25-13, 26-24, 22-25 and 25-21 when they played Club United. Carlton women also took on Toners who captured the first set 25-20 but somehow lost their composure, and the game, with Carlton registering scores of 25-21, 25-18 and 25-16 to take the game 3-1.