T&T teams, Rheeza Grant and Abby Blackman and Daneil Williams and Daynte Stewart captured the women and men titles when the Barbados Olympic Association Independence Invitational Games (BIG) Beach Volleyball Tournament ended on Sunday.
Playing in the final at the Pirates Cove Beach, Bridgetown, Grant and Blackman, the top ranked women’s duo on the T&T circuit so far this season, overcame experienced Barbadian duo, Shari Matthews and Anthazia Mason, 21-15, 21-14.
Earlier in the semifinals, Grant and Blackman, both former T&T “Calypso Spikers” indoor players and multiple-times Caribbean champions overcame another Barbadian duo, Stacey Atherley and Anglesha Hinds, 21-11, 21-9, while Matthews and Mason battled past Sharon Bovell of Barbados, and St Lucia, Dania Hamilton, 27-25, 22-20.
On Saturday in the one-set winner-take-all round-robin phase group matches, Grant and Blackman overcame Tayla Layne and Shenelle Pooler, 21-2 as well as Bovell and Hamilton, 21-17.
In the men’s competition, Williams, who competed at the FIVB World Beach Volleyball Championship earlier this year with Marlon Phillip formed a new partnership a few months ago with Stewart.
The T&T duo, showed great team work as they outplayed veteran Barbadian, Elwyn Oxley and Kengie Matthews 21-12, 21-13 in the title decider.
The T&T men had a much tougher outing in the final-four as they were taken to three sets by Jamaica’s Mark Lewis and Barbadian, Winston Gittens 24-26, 21-13, 15-13 while Oxley and Matthews stopped Sheldon Roach and Akeem Mayers, 21-16, 21-12.
Earlier in the tournament, which served off on Saturday with one-set winner-take-all round-robin matches, Stewart and Williams topped their pool by wins over Roach and Mayers 21-15, and Chad Callender and Akeel Oxley 21-11 before beating fellow T&T players, Stephen Enile and Steffon Hutson 22-20 in the quarterfinals.
Enile and Hutson ended as runner-up in their pool after losing to Oxley and Matthews 7-21 and beating Terry Mason and his son, Tegan Mason, 21-15. Oxley and Matthews defeated the Masons’ 21-7 as well.