Marshall Islands women’s volleyball spiked its way into Micronesian Games consciousness unlike any previous regional competition.
First, the RMI’s two beach volleyball teams — Sidra Triplett, Aliyah Brown, Rutha Pedro and Darcyann Muller — defeated Team Guam twice, ultimately winning silver and bronze medals. They fell only to undefeated Team Palau.
Following this stellar finish, the regular RMI women’s volleyball team sent shock waves through the Yap Games with a five-set defeat of Team Guam, and followed this a day later by demolishing Palau one-two-three in straights sets. The Marshalls women’s volleyball team is now seen as the team to beat in Yap — a first for a RMI women’s volleyball squad in Micro Games competition.
The victories are “a statement to other Micronesian countries that we can excel,” said Coach Kevin Harkey. “It really can be done if a program and supporting team is behind you to make this a reality.”
RMI’s Sidra Triplett was singled out for her stellar play in a report by Guam media on the RMI-Guam matchup.
In the comeback second set, “Triplett took to the service line after a kill to put RMI 6-2 and started to catch fire,” said the report by guamsportsnetwork.com. “Triplett would notch six aces and four kills as RMI ran rampant to a 17-2 lead, leading to a 25-9 set, Guam’s worst set of the Games by far.”
The RMI victory over Guam was a nail biter, as Guam took the first set 25-21 before RMI bounced back for a 25-9 win in the second. But Guam took the pivotal third game in a squeaker, 25-23, giving them a 2-1 advantage. RMI was undaunted, tying the match in the forth with a wild 30-28 win. Guam had several opportunities with at match point to win the final, but the RMI again came back to win 18-16 to take the match, giving Guam its first defeat of the tournament.
Play is continuing in the volleyball tournament with the finals scheduled for this Friday, the last day of the Games.
Read more about this in the July 27, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.