By Carlena Knight
It was a battle of the titans at the YMCA Sports Complex on Saturday night in the finals of the female and male divisions of the Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Volleyball Association (ABAVA) League.
Defending male champions Stoneville rallied from two sets down to win 3-2 in sets versus rivals Michael Freeland Enforcers to claim back-to-back titles.
The feature encounter did not disappoint the packed crowd at the arena as in the early stages it seemed as if a new champion would be crowned as Enforcers took an early lead winning the first and second sets, 13-25, 22-25 but Stoneville proved once again that one just doubt the heart of a champion and in stellar fashion stunned the fans and players from Enforcers to win the last three sets, 25-22, 25-22, 15-10 and finish the season undefeated.
Captain of the winning team Adrian Constant spoke about his team’s performance.
“First things first, winning a championship always feels good. Against a rival, it feels better and coming from 2-0 down where you stopped hearing the cheers from everybody in the crowd but we just locked in and it feels really great,” Constant said.
The national player also gave credit to his teammates and coaches as well.
Constant revealed that the team had to battle through a lot of adversity as himself and other key players returned from injury and sudden illness to play in the finals.
“Our number 12, Rajilo was really really outstandingand bear in mind, he was injured all season but this morning he called me and he is ready to play. You might nit believe this but I was in the hospital Thursday night, I was in the hospital on Friday and I was in the hospital again this morning (Saturday) because of dehydration. A lot of people asked me if I was playing today and I was like ‘it’s a final against my rivals, I’m not going to miss it. I’m not,” he added.
Meanwhile, a new champion was crowned in the female division.
JanServe Cool and Smooth Da Squad defeated Jetz 3-1 in sets, 25-17, 22-25, 25-15, 25-17 to hoist the first-place trophy and finish the season undefeated.
It is a great improvement by Da Squad who in the previous tournament finished 4th.
The Volleyball Association will now turn their attention to hosting the ECVA Senior Men’s tournament.