FOREIGNERS Taija Thomas and Yohan Breleur captured the most prestigious prizes and several other awards in the recent Office of the Prime Minister’s Premier League Volleyball Tournament at Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Chaguanas.
They combined for six trophies, including their respective Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards after their teams captured the titles in the six-day tournament.
Triple T La Cura Sport played unbeaten en route to the women’s crown and the 23-year-old Thomas, a Canadian with local roots who has been a member of the national team for the last few years, was also named Best Spiker and Best Opposite Hitter.
La Cura picked up half of the 12 awards and also claimed five of the men’s prizes despite being upset in the final by Big SEPoS (South East Port of Spain).
Dashonta Addison, who came across from Barbados to represent the winners, was the Best Setter and also picked up the Fans’ Choice prize.
And Rheeza Grant, the country’s leading beach player who was the fourth highest female scorer in the competition, and Cameron Edwards earned the two Best Outside Hitter trophies for La Cura.
National player Afesha Olton-Humphreys, representing runners-up Toco Youths, walked away with three female trophies to match Thomas’ haul. The leading libero in the English-speaking Caribbean was voted Best Digger, Best Receiver and Best Libero.
Big SEPoS’ Breleur was the other player to earn three awards in the tournament.
In addition to being the MVP, the Martiniquan was the Best Server and picked up one of the two Best Outside Hitters prizes.
The other Best Outside Hitter award went to Toco Youths’ Simon Blake and the MVP of the 2014 Caribbean Championships was also the Best Spiker.
National player Joshua Mohammed, representing bronze-medallists Technocrats, was the other double-winner as he was the Best Digger and Best Libero.
La Cura earned the prizes for Best Setter and Best Receiver, courtesy Barbadian Alain London and Marley Davidson, respectively.
And also winning individual prizes for the silver-medallists were Enrique Harry (Best Opposite Hitter), national beach and indoor player Marlon Phillip (Fans’ Choice) and Che Cockburn, who shared the award for Best Middle Blocker with SEPoS’ Ryan Thomas.
The female equivalent Middle Blocker prizes went to Glamorgan’s Maya Roberts and Nerissa Dyer of bronze-medallists SEPoS, whose Tenille Chapman-Goodluck, the Barbadian who was MVP of the recent Caribbean Youth Championship, was the Best Server.
And national skipper Ryan Stewart and Abby Blackman, a national beach and indoor player, were the only players to notch over 80 points in the tournament and they were voted Best Scorers. SEPoS earned $20,000 for capturing the men’s title while runner-up La Cura and bronze-medallists Technocrats collected $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.
Six teams began the competition in two round-robin groups and the top two from each group advanced to the semifinals.
There were just four women’s teams and they played a knockout draw after the round-robin stage.
Champs La Cura walked away with $16,000, while Toco Youths and SEPoS earned $8,000 and $4,000 for picking up the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
The Super League A competition concluded in late November with West Side Stars and Toco lifting the women’s and men’s trophies, respectively.