Photo: Action from Business House opener
Kingston, Jamaica; The 10th staging of the indoor Supreme Ventures and C-Sports Business House Volleyball League served off to a riveting start on Sunday June 1, at the University of the West Indies (UWI) gymnasium with nine of the twelve companies in this 2014 staging facing each other at the net. Before the serious matchups however, patrons were treated to an entertaining display of colour and comedy from the Dress Parade and Opening Ceremony to the slightly serious and pretty funny Celebrity v/s Officials exhibition match.
The first win of the day was by Sagicor, which successfully defended its title in the Opening Day Dress Parade, walking away as the hands down best dressed team. This is the third year in a row that the company has claimed the title as the team has taken uniformity to a different level, literally consistent from head to toe. The Jamaica Defence Force was a close 2nd place and the NWC 3rd.
After an entertaining exhibition match between a Media/Celebrity team and the tournament officials in which Geefus of Stone Love made his hilarious volleyball debut, defending female champions the UWI Pelicans took to the court against Sagicor which is now being coached by International Referee Leighton Cummings. The defending champions did not have an easy path however, and were made to fight for their 2-0 victory, 21-18; 21-16; with Renae Temple, team captain and last year's female Most Valuable Business House Volleyball Player, leading the way with a strong serving game.
Next up was the defending Male and Mixed Team champion the JDF versus NWC’s males. Just as with the female games, it was evident that this year's matches will be more competitive as the volleyball skill level of both entities were more evenly matched. The JDF team opened its account with a 2-0, 21-14; 21- 14; victory over the utility company but the margin of victory was not a large one as it would have been for the JDF in previous years. With the strong surge coming from NWC, the soldiers, though victorious, have been warned that they will have to bring their "A" game to each match.
The JDF returned for the final match of the day in the Mixed Team category where it took on the Owen Leslie-coached, Richard Kelly-led AMECO. This was the only match of the day’s 7 that went to three sets, with the Marching Men of the JDF finally overcoming the resistance of the Fixers of AMECO 2-1 with set scores 21-16 ; 19 – 21 and 21- 17. AMECO supporters can take real comfort that based on the challenge brought to the game, their team should be a strong contender for the 2014 Mixed Team title.
In the other matches on the day, newcomer Wolmer's Girls Staff defeated second year entrant The Jamaica Mortgage Bank 2-0, with set scores 21 - 18 ; 21 –19, title contender JCF, with a weakened team, defeated Sagicor 2-0, (21- 11; 21- 11), the BOJ Gators defeated the NWC Liquidators 2-0, (21-20; 21-15), in a Mixed Team match, and their female Gators lost to the returning JDF female team 21-16 ; 21-16.
The competition continues next Sunday at the UWI Gym with a full slate of 10 matches. The first starts at 9:00 a.m. and admission is free to the public. This year’s League is sponsored by Supreme Ventures.