Central High hosting regional championship
Published: July 16, 2012
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Less than two months ago, the top junior volleyball teams from around the region gathered for an important tournament at Central High School.
Now it is the big boys' turn.
Seven senior men's volleyball teams from around the Caribbean will meet in the CAZOVA Caribbean Championships at Central High's Ronald Charles Arena this week. The six-day tournament starts today and the championship is slated for Saturday.
The U.S. Virgin Islands squad will open the tourney at 8 p.m. tonight against Guadeloupe and will play the Bahamas at 9 p.m. Wednesday in front of its home crowd.
Admission will be $5 for adults and $3 for children.
"The team is looking good," USVI coach Mark Daniel said. "We've had our challenges and we've overcame them so now we are ready to operate as a team."
The USVI has been paired up with Guadeloupe and the Bahamas in one group, while Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica and Martinique will make up the other group. The top two teams in each group move onto the semifinals later in the week.
A nucleus for the squad has practiced together for the last month as St. Thomas players have visited St. Croix for regular weekend workouts.
Alvaro deLugo, a former basketball and volleyball standout at the University of the Virgin Islands, is a USVI team captain and one of the more experienced players on the squad. DeLugo played professionally last year in Mayaguez and is excited about representing the territory in international play.
"We placed in Trinidad in 2008, so winning these tournaments is nothing new to us," deLugo said after Sunday's practice on St. Croix. "I feel like the competition is matched up pretty even so we have a good opportunity playing at home to move on. We need to have a strong first game and set the tempo."
DeLugo started to represent the territory while on the USVI junior boys' team in 2005.
"This team has a good mix of some young guys and a solid corps of returning players," he said. "If we win this week, it puts us in a better position to qualify for the world championships and we'll move up in regional rankings."
- Contact sports writer Aaron Gray at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.