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Makari Matthews & Jean Jacques Dongar Win Good Hope/Country Day’s Beach Volleyball Boys Skill Challenge

Group picture of all the participants at Good Hope / Country Day Beach Volleyball Boys Skills Challenge. (Photo by Mark J Daniel)

Good Hope/Country Day School (GHCDS) welcomed school teams from throughout the Virgin Islands to participate in the Good Hope/Country Day School Beach Volleyball Skills Challenge at Tamarind Reef Beach on February 5-6, 2022. The event attracted St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John school teams. The event was the first true territorial scholastic athletic event since the pandemic started in March of 2022.

Saturday, February 5, 2022, featured six teams who braved the elements in the male division of the challenge as the heavens opened up about 30 minutes prior to the start of the tournament. Just as, “Rain, don’t stop the carnival.” It didn’t stop this event. “Going into the morning, I was very concerned with the weather,” said tournament director Elijah Mondesir. “But whichever God, power in the universe, or energy you believe in, it was looking out for us today as the weather seemed to break and hold off just in time for all the games to finish.”

The day started with teams literally playing in the rain. The weather did get better as the morning drenched along. The elements were definitely a factor for all of the teams.

Makari Matthews of Good Hope/Country Day School attempts to pass the ball in the championship game of the Beach Volleyball Boys Skills Challenge. (Photo by Mark J Daniel)

Good Hope/Country Day School duo of Makari Matthews & Jean Jacques Dongar and Antilles School team of Lucas Rodriguez and Christian Belcher made it to the championship round. In the first set, the Hurricanes jumped out to an early lead. However, the Panthers weathered the storm and came all the way back to take the first set 22-20. The first set seemed to take the wind out of the Hurricanes sail as they were MIA in the second set, dropping it 21-9. Matthews and Dongar won the championship for Good Hope/Country Day School.

Lucas Rodriguez of Antilles School serves the ball in the championship game of the Good Hope/Country Day Beach Volleyball Boy’s Skills Challenge. (Photo by Mark J Daniel)
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Here are the final standings and the scores of all the matches played.

Makari Matthews & Jean Jacques Dongar – Good Hope/Country Day School – 1st Place
Christian Belcher & Lucas Rodriguez – Antilles School – 2nd Place
Kenyon Jean Baptiste & Syrena Carter (Coed Team)–Good Hope/Country Day School–3rd Place
Ruel Hazell & Gabriel Christian – Antilles School – Tied for 4th Place
Josh Rodgers & Thomas Bugg – Good Hope/Country Day School – Tied for 4th Place
Lebron James & Rayanna Liburd (Coed Team)–Educational Complex School (SCEC)–6th Place

Match 1 – Hazell & Christian of Antilles defeated James & Lambert of SCEC by forfeit.
March 2 – Rodriguez & Belcher of Antilles defeated Rodgers & Bugg of GHCD (15-5; 16-14)
Match 3 – Jean Baptiste & Carter of GHCD defeated Hazell & Christian of Antilles (15-13;15-9)
Match 4 – Matthews & Bugg of GHCD defeated Rodriguez & Belcher of Antilles (15-9; 15-4)
Match 5 – Rodgers & Bugg of GHCD defeated James & Lambert of SCEC (15-7; 15-7)
Match 6 – Rodriguez & Belcher of Antilles defeated Hazell & Christian of Antilles (15-7; 16-14)
Match 7 –Matthews & Dongar of GHCD defeated Jn Baptiste & Carter of GHCD (15-10; 15-10)
Match 8 – Jean Baptiste & Carter of GHCD defeated Rodgers & Buggs of GHCD (16-14; 16-14)
Match 9 – Rodriguez & Christian of Antilles defeated Jn Baptiste & Carter of GHCD (15-4;15-9)
Match 10–Matthews & Dongar of GHCD defeated Rodriguez & Belcher of Antilles (22-20;21-9)

Twelve girl teams will take to the sand on Sunday, February 6, 2022, in the girls’ division of the challenge. “I’m very excited for tomorrow, and keeping my fingers crossed, we’re as lucky with the weather,” said Tournament Director Elijah Mondesir at the end of the boy’s challenge on Saturday.

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