It was a breakout performance for Cayman’s beach volleyball team of Jessica Wolfenden and Stefania Gandolfi over the weekend at the Cayman Islands stop of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour.
Wolfenden and Gandolfi finished fourth place overall. It’s the best performance for a Cayman Islands team on the NORCECA tour in recent memory. It comes one week after Wolfenden and Gandolfi finished 11th at a NORCECA event in Costa Rica.
The duo went undefeated in pool play — beating Jamaica, Honduras and Nicaragua — before beating Trinidad and Tobago in the quarterfinals to set up an unprecedented appearance in the semifinals.
There, Cayman lost to eventual champion United States before falling to Mexico in the third-place match.
There were no interviews afterward, either, as Wolfenden quickly rushed to the airport and headed to Virginia, where she was scheduled to donate bone marrow to a patient in need.
Cayman’s other women’s team of 19-year old Chante Smith-Johnson and 14-year old Marissa Harrison — the youngest player in the tournament — went winless in four games and finished tied for 13th.
The Cayman Islands men’s team of Olney Thompson and Philippe Deslandes also went 0-4, finishing tied for 13th.
The United States swept the titles.
Betsi Flinch and Kelley Larsen topped Costa Rica’s Karen Cope and Nathalia Alfaro to take first place on the women’s side. Brothers Taylor and Trevor Crabb beat Canada’s Cameron Wheelan and Michel Platinga to win the men’s title.