The tenth UWI Pelican Volleyball Invitational Tournament is set to take place this Friday, November 20 – Sunday, November 22 at the UWI Gymnasium located at the UWI Mona, Bowl. With top tier teams coming in from Guyana, Bahamas, Curacao, Barbados and the United States to matchup against the island’s best club teams, an exciting weekend of hard-hitting volleyball is expected. The overseas teams started arriving in the island from Monday of this week with Guyana and Barbados already here and in training, with the rest expected to fly in ahead of the tournament start. Matches begin at 8:30 AM each day with the Female Final set for Sunday, November 22 at 3:00 PM and the Male Final shortly after at 5:00 PM.
The University of the West Indies (UWI) Volleyball Club will be looking to defend their title in the Women’s section against fierce opposition from perennial challengers, Miami Select. The UWI Volleyball Club Male team will be going all out to wrest the tournament title from defending Champions and many time winners, locally based Vikings Volleyball Club from Westmoreland.
Speaking at the event launch on Tuesday, November 17, President of the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JaVA) Rudolph Speid lauded the tournament for the role it has played in the last decade of offering an outlet for local volleyball players to gain international experience.
“The Jamaica Volleyball Association is very grateful to the University of the West Indies which, for the past 10 years has seen it fit to host a tournament of this nature that gives our local players’ exposure to international competition. JaVA operates with a very limited budget and at times the association cannot afford to send the male and female senior teams overseas to compete, hence tournaments such as this UWI Pelican Invitational are essential to the continued development of local players. During the past decade there were times when JaVA experienced inertia, no activity, and the University of the West Indies persisted with hosting this tournament and for that we are truly thankful,” said Speid.
Jamaica has steadily been gaining success in volleyball on the international stage and 2015 was a record-making year for Jamaican volleyball. The National Under-19 team emerged the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Indoor Champions after defeating defending champions Barbados in a thrilling tournament finale in August. Before that the Beach Volleyball pair of Danielle Perry and Kai Wright snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in what proved to be one of the biggest local sporting spectacles in recent times at the CAZOVA Women's Beach Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in Ocho Rios in May.
“This is the first time that Jamaica has won two CAZOVA tournaments in any year. I am telling you that as President of JaVA we will be launching an assault on the world with volleyball,” promised Speid at the UWI Pelican Volleyball Invitational Tournament Launch.
The Tournament is expected to get underway with preliminary matches on Friday, November 20 and Saturday November 21 with the grand final slated for Sunday, November 22. The event is free to the public and will also be available for viewing via online stream at tv.mona.uwi.edu/uwivolleyballinvitational2015. The 10th staging of the UWI Pelican Volleyball Invitational Tournament is sponsored by Jamaica Sport, Wray and Nephew, Smokehouse and The Door Restaurants in New York, Kirk Distributors, Pepsi, Mystic Mountain Tours, JUTC, Gatorade and Jewel Hotels and Resorts.