T&T's Marlon 'Waldo' Phillip and Daynte Stewart capped off a stellar weekend with a bronze medal when the third leg of the 2019 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tournament ended at Managua, Nicaragua, yesterday.
Coming up against host duo, Dany Lopez and Gerson Contreras, for third spot, Stewart and Phillip, playing for the first time on the tour this season after missing the first two legs, triumphed 21-18, 18-21, 15-10 to silence the home crowd.
When the tournament served off on Friday, Phillip and Stewart won 21-19, 21-13 over Costa Ricans, Richard Smith and Victor Alpizar and beat Puerto Ricans, Daniel Quinones and Kevin Lopez 21-16, 21-8 to ensure a top two pool finish.
On Saturday in the battle for the top spot in the four-team pool, the T&T men went under to pre-tournament favourites, Cubans, Sergio Gonzalez, and Luis Reyes 13-21, 15-21.
Saturday night, Phillip and Stewart reached a first-ever semifinal together when they defeated Dominican Republic’s Victor Castillo and Alex Medina, 21-12, 18-21, 15-8.
However, yesterday in the semifinals, the T&T pairing came up short versus Guatemalans, Andy Leonardo and Luis Garcia, 16-21, 14-21 and had to settle for the bronze medal match.
The Cubans, who have won a bronze and silver so far this season beat Lopez and Contreras in their semifinal, 21-9, 21-17,
Former top T&T pair, Daneil Williams and Fabien Whitfield have won four tour medals, three bronze and silver, while last year, Williams and Stewart earned a bronze at the final stop of the 2018 Tour in Martinique.
For the first two stops on the 2019 tour, T&T was represented by Williams and Joel Theodore, who were tenth in Mexico, and followed it up by ending 12th in the Cayman Islands.
In the women's competition, T&T's Suraya Chase and Malika Davidson had a tough time in Pool C, losing all three encounters to USA's Kaley Melville, and Lindsey Fuller (10-21, 13-21); and Nicaraguans, Isabella Lugo and Valeska Alonzo. (14-21, 21-16, 9-15) on Friday, and then against El Salvador's Beatriz Vasquez and Fernanda Vargas, 8-21, 13-21 to end pool play.
The T&T women’s duo then got a default win over Nicaraguans Valeria Mendoza and Elia Machado, 21-0, 21-0 before losing 9-21, 20-22 to Guatemalans Marie Alvarado and Estefanie Bethancourt, in their ninth to tenth semifinal playoff, followed by
Costa Ricans, Valeria Valenciano and Camila Villegas 21-11, 16-21, 12-15 to end in 12th spot.
When the tour began Davidson and La Teisha Joseph enjoyed two tough first legs on the tour, placing 13th in Mexico, and 16th in the Cayman Islands. The tour now heads to Varadero, Cuba from May 9-13.