The Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation sent 3 teams to Gibraltar on July 4th to compete in the 2019 Island Games. All the athletes present were veterans at the event as Ileann Powery and Marissa Harrison had made their debut as a team in 2017, Jessica Wolfenden and Stefania Gandolfi brought home the gold in 2015, and Richard Campbell and Nathan Dack had competed with different partners in the past.
Playing abroad sometimes comes with its challenges especially in terms of environmental factors, such as wind and temperature. Luckily Gibraltar offered ideal playing conditions, as senior women's beach player Jessica Wolfenden noted: "They built a stunning beach volleyball venue and had amazing fans and support for all the islands. How cool to have views of Spain and Africa all while you catch your breath at a timeout?" All three Cayman teams flourished in this new environment, as they all secured a spot in the quarter finals.
Campbell and Dack fell short in the quarter finals to Aland 1 in two straight sets, 16-21, 9-21. Powery and Harrison were defeated by the defending champions from Gotland, 16-21, 17-21. Meanwhile Gandolfi and Wolfenden fought hard to win their first set against Aland 28-26. The momentum from their first set carried them through to win the second set 21-9.
Unfortunately they were eliminated from the running due to team Menorca's strategic game play. Technical Director, Javid Ali, was pleased with the ladies performance during their consolation match as he explained: "Cayman Team 2 performed amazingly. I couldn't have asked anything more of them and they left everything on the court. They regrouped and refocused for their afternoon game for 3rd / 4th place and got the job done against an experienced Sareema team in 2 straight sets."
The players were equally as thrilled with their performance as Wolfenden explained: "Although not the color we were aiming for, we fought hard and we are really proud to bring a bronze medal home to Cayman!"
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