Belize makes Nicaragua a believer: 3-1 


BELIZE CITY, Belize, August 6, 2018 - Belize kept its dream alive, of medaling at the 20th Central American women’s volleyball championships, by their second win: 3-1 over former silver medalists Nicaragua (25-23, 25-10, 22-25, 25-13) in the 9th game of the tournament in beloize City.


Belize dominated all aspects of the game: 53-37 on spikes, 12-5 on blocks, and 12-2 in serving aces, and they won 20 points more by their opponent’s errors, even though they conceded 27 points on unforced errors. This was Nicaragua’s third consecutive loss, but they never said die, recovering to win the third set.


Outside hitter Nelissa Ramirez top-scored for Belize with 20 points: 18 spikes and 2 aces. Outside hitter Sherika Burton scored 19 points: 17 spikes, a block and 1 ace. Middle blocker Tichele Solís scored 17 points:  9 spikes, 6 blocks, and 2 aces. Opposite Shantell Arnold added 8 points.


Outside hitter Maryuri Torres led Nicaragua with 9 points, and middle blocker  Helen Trana scored 8 points: 4 spikes and 4 blocks.


Belize’s Cuban coach Esmidio Limonta Muñoz declared: “our team played our game plan, they gave of their all, and came away with the win. This was key, and we hope to extend our winning streak.”


Sherika Burton explained: “After we came back from that loss to El Salvador, we knew that we had to win these games. These are the games that have to count for us, to be in medal contention. And for us to aim for the gold. That is what we came here to do, and all the hard work that we did. We had the stamina to play four sets, and we are ready! And we are here to win!”


Nicaragua’s coach René Iván Quintana Pereira congratulated the Belize team for all the hard work they have done: “They were always fit to excel, and I believe they are fit to reach higher in this tournament, and to surprise everyone. I also want to congratulate my team for their efforts.”


Veteran Claudia Noguera said: “I have to congratulate the Belize team, they are a young team who have come a long way, for the past four years - I believe, from they were juniors. They have maintained their training very well, their hard work, and that was plain to see in this tournament! I congratulate them. I think I like this tournament, for it shows that volleyball is improving in Central America, and all were very good games, very strong, and I consider it a very good championship.”