Cayman’s NORCECA beach volleyball teams set

| 08/04/2019 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life
(L-R) Stefania Gandolfi and Marissa Harrison in action in 2017 tournament

(CNS Local Life): The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation (CIVF) has announced the teams that will compete for Cayman in the upcoming NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tournament taking place 26-28 April at Public Beach. The men’s teams comprise Richard Campbell/Nathan Dack and Casey Santamaria/Jesse Parham and the female contenders are Marissa Harrison/Ileann Powery and Jessica Wolfenden/Stefania Gandolfi.

In congratulating the teams, CIVF president Kennedy McGowan said, “These eight athletes are very strong players and we expect some fierce court action from them.”

The event has also received a “significant boost” in support from Dart, which has come on as the title sponsor, stated a CIVF press release.

“This tournament cannot happen without the support of the community and both the public and private sectors,” said McGowan.  “We are grateful to companies like Dart who recognise the tourism and economic impact of an event such as this and choose to partner with us to execute a first-class competition.”

Pilar Bush, executive vice president marketing at Dart, said sponsoring the Cayman leg of the 2019 NORCECA beach volleyball tour is “consistent with Dart’s commitment to tourism and promoting the Cayman Islands internationally”, adding, “Hosting world class competitive events like NORCECA, gives Cayman the opportunity to showcase our islands’ natural beauty and welcoming people and at the same time promote sports as an important component of community development.”

CNS Local Life
Casey Santamaria (left) in 2017 match

This will be Wolfenden’s 11th NORCECA tournament appearance. She finished fourth in the 2016 Cayman NORCECA tournament; was the 2015 gold medallist at the NatWest Island Games in Jersey; the 2015 silver medallist at CAZOVA Olympic Qualifier in Jamaica; and the 2013 silver medallist at the NatWest Island Games in Bermuda. Wolfenden has also been selected for the Cayman Islands beach volleyball team that will travel to the 2019 Island Games in Gibraltar in July.

“The Cayman NORCECA stop is always a special one on the tour and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Cayman again,” said Wolfenden in the press release.  “I am excited to be back on the court with Stefania and look forward to battling it out on the sand together.”

Powery will be competing in her seventh NORCECA tournament this month.  Powery, 21, has been playing volleyball since her days at George Hicks High School and was at one time the youngest member of the Cayman Islands Women’s Volleyball National Team.  She transitioned to beach volleyball in 2013 and has represented Cayman at the World Championship Qualifiers, NatWest Island Games, Nanjing Youth Olympic Qualifiers, Pan American Games and Central American and Caribbean Games.  She won her first NORCECA game in April 2017 against Trinidad & Tobago.

“It is always an honour to represent the Cayman Islands and it is my absolute favourite thing to do,” said Powery. “I am very thankful to have been selected once again to represent these Islands in front of my home crowd. As I always say, I will put my all in while playing, and I will take everything in this tournament as a learning experience.”

Cayman will be one of the first stops on the 2019 NORCECA tour as teams try to accumulate points to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.  Countries confirmed to participate are the Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, the US and US Virgin Islands.

Tickets for the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tournament are on sale online at EventPro, with free uncovered seating also available.

For more information go to the CIVF website or email events@civf.ky

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Category: Beach volleyball, Sports

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