Volleyball: Land Marine Cup Finals | 18 November 2019
New champs crowned
New champions in all four divisions of the Land Marine Cup were crowned on Saturday at the Palais des Sports.
Land Marine managing director Hughes Adam was on hand to present the prizes to the winners and runners-up at the end of some entertaining matches.
In fact, only one defending champions – Cascade – stood a chance of retaining their title as they featured in the women’s division one final but they came up short of making it three wins in a row as Arsu triumphed this time.
Cascade won the women’s division one Land Marine Cup without breaking a sweat in 2017 after their opponents Arsu failed to turn up and they came back from a set behind to beat the same Arsu team to retain the title last year.
In Saturday’s final, Cascade, coached by François Magloire, once again met Arsu who were in search of their first piece of silverware this season.
League and Curtain-raiser competition champions Cascade looked set for victory as they led twice, but Arsu, who are known for their never-say-die spirit, fought back to win the match 3-2 (20-25, 25-20, 11-25, 25-22, 15-8) after 115 minutes of play.
Premium Spikers beat Neo Boys
For the second year in a row, Neo Boyz made it to the men’s division one Land Marine Cup final and once again they … lost.
Last year, they were beaten by Swimblue Pals who disbanded at the start of the ongoing season, and as a result a new champion was to be crowned.
Swimblue Pals have since Saturday been replaced as men’s division one Land Marine Cup champions by Premium Spikers who had earlier in the season captured the league title which had eluded them for the past two years following Swimblue Pals’ two-year domination.
Boasting experienced players like Percy Riaze, Jones Mangroo and Jean-Paul Lepathy, Premium Spikers took time to adjust in Saturday’s final as they dropped the first set but recovered in time to collect a 3-1 (18-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-22) victory after 103 minutes of action against Neo Boys coached by Ruudy Joseph.
Carol Azemia saves Breakaway
Was it pure luck or just quality volleyball serve?
With the score tied at 2-2 in the fifth and decisive set of the women’s division two Land Marine Cup final, Carol Azemia went to the service line and probably no one could imagine what she was about to accomplish. She scored on 13 consecutive serves – most probably a record in Seychelles volleyball – to give Breakaway victory.
After Breakaway won the first set 25-22, Island Pearls of Praslin who were backed by a strong contingent pulled level and even took the lead before Breakaway tied the game at two sets apiece to force a decisive set.
The final score was 3-2 (25-22, 24-26, 23-25, 25-18, 15-2) in Breakaway’s favour after 113 minutes of play and they replace last year’s winners Anse Aux Pins Sisters who won last year’s final in straight sets 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-21) against Juniors.
Breakaway coach Alvin Bonnelame said although his team won, the players committed too many individual mistakes.
“We played well at intervals against Island Pearls who were also all out for the win as they had good support from their travelling fans. It was in the fourth set that my players executed the instructions given to them and in the fifth set Carol (Azemia) scored 13 consecutive points at the service line,” said coach Bonnelame.
Racing Club win first title
Having already grabbed the men’s division two league title and automatic promotion to play among the elites next year, Racing Club picked up a second piece of silverware on Saturday.
Under manager Andy Marie, Racing Club beat Juniors 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17) after 87 minutes of play to win the men’s division two Land Marine Cup title.
Speaking to Sports NATION, manager Marie said: “Two-and-a-half years after the team had disbanded, we decided to call up the players to start training again. Seasoned players Paul Lesperance, Tony Songor, Daniel Rose and Andy Ally made their comeback and we also recruited some youngsters like Steven Bertin, Leroy Morgan (captain), Madride Adrienne, Dylan Bastienne, Nelson Crispin and Neil Vel. We have already achieved our objectives – men’s division two with an unbeaten record in nine games and now the men’s division two Land Marine Cup title. We are now in the quarterfinals of the Seychelles Volleyball Federation (SVF) Cup against Anse Royale and I am sure we will reach the semifinals.”
Racing Club have succeeded St Louis as men’s division two Land Marine Cup champions.