NEBRASKA, United States, CMC-France-based Darlene Ramdin inspired a late fight-back as Trinidad and Tobago pulled-off a nerve-racking victory over Costa Rica three sets to two in their opening Pool A match at the 23rd Norceca Women’s Continental Cup on Tuesday.
The calypso spikers cruised through the first set but lost the momentum in the second and third before herculean rallies resurrected them from the brink of defeat in tense fourth and fifth sets that sealed victory over the Costa Ricans.
The Trinidadians prevailed 25-14, 22-25, 21-25, 27-25, 15-13 at the Ralston Arena, multi-sport facility in the suburbs of Omaha, Nebraska.
Costa Rica was in a must-win situation to reach the quarterfinals after losing their opener, a night earlier to world eighth ranked Dominican Republic 13-25, 6-25, 20-25.
The Central Americans rebounded to even the match at one-set and took the third set to put the Calypso Spikers on the verge of losing.
However, T and T clawed their way back into contention in a nail biting fourth set led by a resurgent Ramdin, middle-blocker Renele Forde and captain Krystle Esdelle.
They led a spirited come-back and after saving a set and match point at 24-25 won the fourth set to extend the match.
T and T stormed into an 8-2 lead in the fifth and deciding set but some sloppy play allowed Costa Rica back into the match at 10-10.
Both teams then traded points until 13-11 before Forde made it 14-13 with a service ace followed by a free spike from captain Esdelle to put her team joint top of the table with 2009 tournament champion Dominican Republic .
With only three teams in the pool, both T&T and Dominican Republic are also certain of at least a quarterfinal spot.
In other matches, host USA, the six-time winners and defending champion made light work of two-time champions, Mexico, 25-9, 25-12, 25-11 in Pool B while Puerto Rico brushed aside debutants and Eastern Caribbean champions, St Lucia, 25-8, 25-15, 25-12.