Jamaica has been named as the hosts of the 2024 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) U19 Boys and Girls Championships. The highly anticipated tournament is scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 5, 2024, and will unfold at the prestigious G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

The confirmation of Jamaica as the host country and the specified dates came through a letter from CAZOVA President Mushtaque Mohammed, as revealed by the Jamaica Volleyball Association (JaVA) in a press release on Thursday.

This marks a significant milestone for Jamaica as it marks the first international volleyball event to be hosted since the onset of the global pandemic.

Jamaica has a rich history of hosting successful volleyball events, having previously organized the CAZOVA U18 Girls and U19 Boys Championships in 2019 at the G.C. Foster College. The Senior Women’s CAZOVA Championship took place in 2017 at the National Indoor Sports Centre, while the CAZOVA U19 Boys Championship in 2015, held at G.C. Foster, saw Jamaica emerging as champions, securing the nation's first-ever international volleyball title at any level.

The Caribbean island has also been a host for high-profile beach volleyball events, including the Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualification in 2015 and 2016, as well as the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tournaments in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

With the hosting rights secured, Jamaica has wasted no time in preparing its teams for the upcoming championships. Over the weekend, more than 100 student-athletes participated in tryouts at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport. The participants included athletes currently engaged in the ISSA National U19 Volleyball Championships, showcasing the depth of talent and dedication within the Jamaican volleyball community.


Jamaica Volleyball Association President, Jacqueline Cowan, was re-elected as the General Secretary on the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) board. She was selected during the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association’s (CAZOVA) Electoral Congress held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on Sunday.

Trinidad and Tobago's Mushtaque Mohammed was also re-elected president during the electoral congress, which determined the new board to guide CAZOVA until 2027.

Other members of the newly appointed CAZOVA Board are Kennedy McGowan, First Vice-President (Cayman Islands), Gisette Emer, Second Vice-President (Bonaire), Kurtwood Greene Snr, Treasurer (Bahamas), Filomena Daniel-Curiel, Board Member (Aruba), and Mark Lewis, Board Member (Barbados) a former Jamaica Indoor and Beach Volleyball National
Representative now residing in Barbados.

Philippe Lirus, Honorary Board Member (Martinique) and Daymian Stewart, Executive Director (Trinidad and Tobago), also secured slots on the board.

Along with those elected, there were also representatives from Curacao, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Suriname, and US Virgin Islands, at the congress.

The Brix Hotel on Coblentz Avenue in Port-of-Spain Trinidad set the stage for the recent electoral congress that unfolded on Sunday, December 17, 2023, marking a pivotal moment for the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Organisation (CAZOVA).

Mushtaque Mohammed of Trinidad and Tobago emerged victorious, retaining his position as President in a spirited contest against Ms. Margarette Graham, the Treasurer of CAZOVA.

The electoral congress, which determined the new board to guide CAZOVA until 2027, attracted the participation of 12 out of 14 National Federation members. The event was conducted under the supervision of Cristóbal Marte Hoffiz, President of the North, Central America, and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA).

The represented associations included Aruba, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Barbados, Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, and host country Trinidad and Tobago.

The newly elected executive comprises a mix of re-elected and fresh faces, demonstrating the organization's commitment to a diverse and dynamic leadership. The returning trio includes Kennedy McGowan of the Cayman Islands as First Vice-President, Gisette Emer of Bonaire as Second Vice-President, and Jacqueline Cowan of Jamaica as Secretary General.

Board Member Filomena Daniel-Curiel of Aruba also retained her position, while Kurtwood Green of the Bahamas and Mark Lewis of Barbados were newly appointed as Treasurer and Board Member, respectively.

In addition, Phillipe Lirus of Martinique was elected as an Honorary CAZOVA Board Member. Notably, Daymian K.E. Stewart, the President of T&T Volleyball Federation, retained his post as CAZOVA’s Executive Director, a role not subject to election.

With an action-packed calendar for 2024, CAZOVA encourages its membership to actively participate in various events and consider hosting both CAZOVA Beach and Indoor competitions. The organization will also emphasize assisting National Federations in enhancing their administration and governance structures.

As a unanimous decision, CAZOVA members pledged their support for President Cristóbal Marte Hoffiz in his bid for re-election as NORCECA President, with the election scheduled to take place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in July 2024.

President Marte Hoffiz expressed his congratulations to the new board and affirmed his commitment to working collaboratively with CAZOVA to further develop volleyball in the zone. The stage is set for a new chapter in CAZOVA's leadership, with a vision for growth, inclusivity, and excellence in volleyball across the Caribbean region.

It is said that a strong coach-athlete relationship is particularly vital because of its effect on the athlete.

Jamaica’s Aiko Jones can attest to that, as a simple relationship she started with women’s volleyball coach Dani Busboom Kelly at University of Louisville, has blossomed into something that runs deeper than wins or losses.

Still, the success that Jones enjoyed for the past six years at Louisville is credited to the effective coaching ability of Busboom Kelly, who ensures that her athletes success goes beyond their record on the court.

In fact, it is that sense of belonging, positive moral and ethical growth that resulted in Jones’s decision to stay at Louisville for a sixth year, and as fate would have it, she was named to the All-ACC volleyball team for the fifth time this week.

Simply put, the 24-year-old graduate student and team captain is certainly making the most of her bonus COVID year, as she has been an indispensable cog in the Cardinals' rise to national prominence, with hopes for one last deep run in the NCAA tournament.

"One more year to be with this program and continue to grow as a person, It's priceless. So why would I give that up,” Jones said in a recent interview with WDRB.com.

"People ask how I ended up here and I tell them I met Dani [Busboom Kelly] and she asked me to leave my country and my family, and I've trusted her with my life ever since. But that's kind of the story,” she added.

The two first met when Busboom Kelly had Jones at a camp at Nebraska, when the coach was still an assistant coach there. When Busboom Kelly got the head coaching job at University of Louisville, Jones, a Wolmer’s Girls and University of the West Indies alumna, who had accomplished more in track and field, was one of her first recruits.

"They have club (volleyball) but it's nothing like they have here," said Busboom Kelly.

"Her high school court is outside. She was really a blank canvas that we could work with. She also could see her potential. So, it was really fun to train her. Everything was new. She could see the progress. She could see the changes. That made her work even harder,” the coach added.

Jones, the daughter of Jamaican radio personality Paula-Anne Porter, admitted that it was somewhat overwhelming at times.

"It was scary. When I first came to the US to come to a volleyball camp it was scary because I was with kids my age or younger who were so good. I remember sitting and writing in my journal, 'your story is different. It's OK that they are so much better than you and how you perceive things to be.' But it was intimidating for sure and sometimes still is. Also, it's pushed me to work much harder,” the over six-foot tall right side hitter, shared. 

Interestingly, the player-coach relationship has moved in concert with the Cardinals’s growth as a national power that has now included back-to-back final fours.

“And I tell her [Busboom Kelly] all the time, I would follow her anywhere, and that was a huge part of my decision and the culture that she's built here, and I feel like we've built together,” Jones noted. 

“I always have family here. I love Louisville. It's home to me. Jamaica will always be home, but Louisville is home and I just love it,” she declared.

Busboom Kelly echoed Jones’s sentiments.

“It's amazing when you feel like you get the total package. Not only a great athlete, but a physical athlete and then somebody that really loves Louisville. We have everybody vote for captains and they have to write why they voted for so and so and we had somebody wrote for Aiko, 'she just loves Louisville,” Busboom Kelly ended.        

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and UWI Volleyball Club emerged as the respective male and female winners at the 2023 MOSA Classic Volleyball Tournament.

The event, a precursor to the national club league, was played on Saturday and Sunday at the MICO University College Auditorium.

On the female side, UWI were dominant throughout the two days, winning four matches out of five, with their only loss coming against Masters Volleyball Club in straight sets on day one.

The final gave them an opportunity to exact revenge on Masters and they did just that, winning by three sets to none. They sped to a 25-12 first set win before Masters put up more of a fight in the second set, eventually losing 19-25. The third set was closest of all with UWI prevailing 25-22 to come away with the title.

The men’s tournament saw JDF go unbeaten over the two days, with the final against UWI “A” proving to be their toughest test.

JDF took the first set 25-17 before UWI “A” rallied to tie proceedings at one set all with a 25-21 triumph in the second. The third set was won by JDF by a score of 25-20 before UWI “A” win the fourth 25-22 to push the final to a fifth and deciding set.

In the end, JDF held their nerve to pull out a 15-7 fifth set victory and crown themselves as champions.

MOSA Volleyball Club took home third place in both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

They defeated JDF (24-22, 21-9) in the women’s tournament and beat Venus Volleyball Club (21-17, 21-13) in the men’s tournament.

The Most Valuable Player of the female tournament was Erica Harris of UWI while JDF’s Mark Blake took home MVP honors on the male side.


Defending champions Suriname won their second title during the XVIII CAZOVA Caribbean Championship following a five-set thriller 3-2 victory over 10-time champion Barbados.

The hosts took the final winning 19-25, 25-21, 29-27, 23-25, 17-15.

It was also redemption for the hosts who lost to Barbados in their opening match of the tournament.

Barbados took the first set 25-19 before a fired up Suriname took the next two sets 25-21 and 29-27. Barbados rallied to win the fourth set 25-23 win to force a deciding set, which went down to the wire with the hosts winning the tie-breaker 17-15.

Suriname’s opposite Zefanio Breinburg had 28 points (16 on attacks, four on blocks, and two on serves) while and his teammate, middle blocker, Ethan Asimia, contributed with 17 points from attacks and three on blocks, totaling 20 points.

For Barbados, middle blocker Willams Akeil had 20 points, all from attacks.

Winning coach Carlos Orta said his team played with a lot of passion.

“The winning formula was that my team played with their heart,” he said.

“They know the fifth set will be ours. Most of the teams will be tired, but Barbados shows up today and give us a very hard time. I am very happy with the victory and very proud. Now I will give the group seven days’ rest before training again.” 

With the win Suriname qualifies for the continental championships that will be held in the USA.  

Jamaica’s Senior Women’s Volleyball Team created history on Sunday after defeating seven-time defending champion Trinidad and Tobago in a nail biting 5 set thriller 3-2 [25-21, 15-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-13] to win the 2023 CAZOVA Women’s Championship at the Anthony Nesty Sports Hall in Paramaribo Suriname.

This is Jamaica’s first ever championship at the senior Level.

The Jamaicans started strong by winning the first set 25-21 and lost the next two sets to the defending champions 15-25 and 23-25. The Jamaican’s then regained their momentum to win the fourth set 25-19 to force a decisive fifth set.

Anesia Edwards, who had three consecutive blocks in the fourth set to change the tide for the Jamaicans, sustained an injury in the final set but Jamaica maintained their composure to win 15-13.

Outside hitters Michael Vernon, Simone Asque-Favia and Captain Sashalee Thomas led the way for the Jamaicans in the fierce encounter.

It was sweet revenge for the Jamaicans who lost to Trinidad and Tobago in the final of the 2017 Championship at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Jamaica, the last time Jamaica participated at this level.

Jamaica has broken Trinidad and Tobago’s winning streak of seven consecutive CAZOVA titles and also went undefeated during the Championship.

Meanwhile, Barbados came back from behind to earn a 3-2 (19-25, 23-25, 27-25, 25-23, 15-12) win against host Suriname in their match for the bronze medal.

Barbados fought their way back from the brink of elimination after losing the first two sets.

The Barbadians got going in the third set and took over the game.

Undefeated Jamaica advanced to Sunday’s final of the 2023 CAZOVA Women’s Championship after beating Barbados in straight sets 25-16, 25-21, 25-21.

Jamaica awaits the winner of the next semi-final between host Suriname and defending champion Trinidad and Tobago to determine their opponent in the final.

Suriname women clinched their semi-final berth where they will face defending champion Trinidad and Tobago. The hosts beat Barbados 3-1 (25-17, 25-21, 24-26, 25-19) at the Anthony Nesty Sports Hall in Paramaribo. 

Outside hitter Ketura Margaret led with 22 points with team captain Sandrina Hunsel adding 15 points including two blocks and four spikes. Outside hitter Shonte Seale of Barbados had a game high 17 points.

Suriname coach Sergio Valdes praised her victorious team. “We played very good today. I am happy my team stuck to the plan. Now we will face Trinidad once again. We lost against them but it will be a much better game this time around.”

Barbados defeated Bahamas 3-1 (25-23, 25-16, 23-25, 25-22) to book their spot in the men’s final of the 2023 CAZOVA Volleyball Championships in Suriname on Friday. They will face either hosts or Trinidad and Tobago.

Barbados was incredibly dominant in the semi-finals at the Anthony Nesty Sport Hall only giving up one set to The Bahamas on their way their 14th appearance in a CAZOVA final. Team captain and outside hitter Oxley led Barbados with 22 points.

Barbados coach Elwyn Oxley was full of praise for his team, stating“All the credit are going to the players. The have fought all through this tournament. Especially those young players we have coming up doing great stuff out on the court. Let’s see who will we meet in the final on Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Jamaica ended the Men’s Championship in fifth place after defeating Martinique 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-21).

Friday’s victory over Martinique was bitter-sweet for Jamaica’s coach Gatasheu Bonner.

“Yesterday (Thursday) was a disappointing match for us. We didn’t get the result we wanted but it pressed us to come back today to show energy and life, which is a great opportunity for this group,” he said.

“We try to teach our team that every game matters and tomorrow hopefully we’ll show up to be the team we want to be. This tournament will be a lesson to move forward with volleyball in Jamaica.”

Losing coach Eddy Erialc said his team’s performance was disappointing, saying, “We didn’t show up today. It is like we couldn’t make any good points in the attack. We will evaluate and do things for developing the game in our country.”

In the men’s quarter-final Thursday defending champions Suriname had beaten Jamaica’s men 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 20-25, 28-26, 15-9) in a thriller at the Anthony Nesty Sports Hall in Paramaribo.  

Jamaica dominated the opening set but Suriname fought back to win the second set in the contest between the evenly-matched teams. However, Suriname took control of the final set to book their spot in the semi-final.

 Zefanio Breinburg led Suriname’s scoring with 21 points and got backing from outside hitter and team captain Keven Sporkslede with 16 points. Outside hitter David Pinas was a key player in the final set with 11 points.

For Jamaica, Owayne Lawrence had a game high 21 points and outside hitter Ryck Webb contributed with 17 points.  


Bahamas swept Martinique 3-0 (27-25, 25-20, 25-14) in quarterfinals on Thursday to reach the semifinals of the 2023 CAZOVA Championship in Paramaribo, Suriname.

It’s the fourth defeat of Martinique in this tournament. On Wednesday they were beaten by Barbados 3-1 (25-27, 25-18, 25-12, 25-15).

Outside hitter Kyle Wilson led with 21 points, three aces and two blocks. Prince Wilson had 13 points. Meanwhile, Martinique’s outside hitter Lohan Lefaivre had eight points.

Lloyd Davis, coach of Bahamas expressed his delight at the outcome.

“I am happy how the game went. We expected that Martinique would play hard. The win shows that we want this and trying to reach the final,” he said.

Bahamas captain Bryon Ferguson said his team was confident of victory. “We did not expect anything less or more,” he said. “I am happy we could hold off Martinique and play our own game. One set at a time.”

Jamaica’s women remained undefeated during their preliminary round matches and have clinched a semifinal berth at the 2023 CAZOVA Championship being held in Suriname.

After defeating defending champions Trinidad and Tobago in their previous match, Jamaica blanked the Bahamas 3-0 [25-16, 25-21, 25-22] at the Anthony Nesty Sports Hall in Paramaribo. Outside hitter Mychael Vernon led with 14 points, joined by opposite and team captain Sashalee Thomas with 14 points.

On Wednesday, Jamaica outgunned the defending champions in a five-set thriller 3-2 (25-14, 25-23, 22-25, 15-25, 16-14).

The Jamaicans dominated the two opening sets but Trinidad and Tobago roared back to win the next two sets and force a decisive fifth set.

In a contest where both teams were equally matched, Jamaica capitalized on the unforced errors by Trinidad and Tobago to clinch victory. Outside hitter Mychael Vernon led with 24 points. Team captain Sashalee Thomas had 18 points.

Jamaica remains the only undefeated team in the Women’s championship.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's men progressed to the quarterfinals after defeating Bahamas, 3:2 [25-16, 25-19, 21-25, 27-25, 15-11] to end the preliminary round with two wins and a loss and will now face defending CAZOVA Men’s Champion and host Suriname in the quarterfinal.

Mark Blake and O’Wayne Lawrence forms Jamaica’s only team competing in the sixth stage of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour that began on Friday in Hato Mayor in the Dominican Republic.

Thirty-two teams from the North, Central American and Caribbean volleyball Confederation will battle until Sunday for the best positions as part of the qualification process for the Olympic Games of Paris, France 2024.

Hato Mayor is the sixth leg of nine to be held this year. The previous events were at Aguascalientes, Mexico, Varader, Cuba, La Paz, Baja California (Mexico), Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Managua, Nicaragua.

Jamaican Aiko Jones had 10 kills, four aces and six blocks to lead the No. 4-ranked Louisville volleyball team to a 25-14, 25-14, 25-20 sweep of South Dakota on Friday night at the Coyote Invitational.

The Cardinals hit .369 with nine aces and nine blocks. Anna DeBeer notched 10 kills with Claire Chaussee adding six kills and a block. Setter Raquel Lazaro led with 25 assists and a team-high 10 digs.  South Dakota hit .120 with one ace and four blocks. The Yotes were paced by Elizabeth Juhnke's 15 kills and eight blocks. 

The Cardinals took off with an early lead of 7-4 before the Coyotes countered with a five-point run to take the lead at 8-7 in the first set. UofL pushed back with a 12-1 run to take a 20-11 lead.  Jones had two of her five kills late in the set to get the Cards to set point. A USD hitting error gave UofL the 25-14 win. UofL hit .478 with four blocks and three aces. Anna DeBeer tallied four kills for the Cards.
The Coyotes improved their -.036 hitting from the first set to a .346 in the second but the outcome remained the same as USD again fell 25-14. UofL hit .462 in the set with four aces, all four by Aiko Jones, three blocks and 13 kills. Anna DeBeer added five more to her total and Raquel Lazaro had three kills. USD kept it close early, down just two points at 10-8 before the Cards broke free to go up 17-9 and force a USD timeout.  South Dakota never regained its footing as Louisville took a two-set lead into the set break.

Down 2-0 in sets, South Dakota came out swinging in the third set, standing close to the Cards. Trailing by just two at 16-14, the Yotes let the Cards go on a 6-2 run to go up 22-16. USD made one final push to 24-20 but could not close the set as the Cards won 25-20. Amanda Tillman and Phekran Kong both had four blocks, and Aiko Jones had four kills and 4 blocks. Claire Chaussee zinged four serves by the Yotes for aces in the set.
Louisville are now 2-0 in the young season and South Dakota drops to 0-1. The Cardinals play Missouri on Saturday as the Coyote Invitational continues. 

Haiti strolled to their first title at the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior Men's Championship after cruising past host Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-15) at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena.

With the win in the final match of the tournament, the Junior Siecle-coached Haitians, who ended in second spot in 2017/2018 and fourth in 2015, ended with a perfect 4-0 win-loss round-robin record and 18 points, two ahead of runner-up Suriname (3-1) while Jamaica took the bronze medal with a 2-2 record and 11 points with Trinidad and Tobago (1-3) fourth with three points, and winless US Virgin Islands, fifth with a 0-4 record and two points.

The victory for Haiti put them on par with their 2015 Under-21 women's team who won their maiden title in Barbados and secured their ticket to the NORCECA Under-21 Men's Continental Championship to be hosted by Cuba from May 7 to 15, 2023.

Suriname secured a surprisingly comfortable 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-18) triumph over Jamaica in a battle of teams with 2-1 win-loss records for the second spot.

With the win, the Antoine Vliet-coached Suriname, ended their four-match round-robin schedule in the five-team winner-take-all competition with a 3-1 record and 16 points to earn their best finish in the tournament history.

Despite the loss, Steve Davis, coach of Jamaica said he was very proud of his players because he knew that they worked very hard in the limited time they had to prepare.

"Today, I have no blame for the boys even though I think that we contributed to our defeat by not having a good serving, passing or attacking game. Those errors happens when there is a lack of preparation and that is what happened with us, so to come away with a medal, is still a positive and something for us to work with," Davis said.

Estakend Beauvoir of Haiti capped off a memorable tournament for his team by being named as the "Most Valuable Player.”

Beauvoir was very influential throughout the five-team round-robin tournament and picked up the "Best Scorer" accolade.

Haiti captain Dieulengy Relis who enjoyed a very productive tournament to lead his team to the historic crown copped the"Middle Blocker 1" award.

Tournament runners-up Suriname who also enjoyed their best finish at this age-group had two awardees in Jonovan Wijngaarde (Outside Hitter 1), and Jason Lesperans (Best Digger) while US Virgin Islands had four award recipients in captain Gabriel Rosa (Best Setter), De Andrae Tylor (Middle Blocker 2), and Taj Bales (Best Receiver and Best Libero).

Third-placed Jamaica received three awards thanks to Damion Smith (Best Server and Best Opposite Player), Kenneth-Roy Clarke (Outside Hitter 2).

Suriname kept their slim hopes of claiming the gold medal in the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Junior Men (Under-21) Championship alive with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-15) victory against host Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena.

With the straight-sets win, Suriname, seeking a first title at this level, improved their win-loss record to 2-1 and 11 points, the same as Jamaica (2-1) and two points behind unbeaten leaders Haiti (3-0) as the trio will enter the final day of the five-team round-robin series all in contention for their first title.

Hosts Trinidad and Tobago, who needed a win to keep alive their medal hopes dropped to a 1-2 record and three points, just ahead of winless US Virgin Islands, who completed their four-match campaign with two points.

Despite the loss, Trinidad and Tobago still has a slim chance at a medal but will need to pull off a shock win over title-favourites Haiti.

On, Monday, July 11, in the final round of matches, Jamaica meets Suriname at 10 am, and Haiti meets Trinidad and Tobago at 4 pm, at the end of which, the top team will be declared champions.

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