Costa Rica beat El Salvador in first victory at AFECAVOL U23

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, September 17, 2018.- Costa Rica beat El Salvador 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-18) in their first victory at the Men’s U23 AFECAVOL Central American Championship at Teodoro Palacios Flores in Guatemala City.

On day two of the event, Costa Rica improved their win-loss record to 1-1 while El Salvador dropped to 0-2. Costa Rica had a firm and disciplined performance but still lacked consistency to remain ahead as El Salvador recovered from a six point deficit (15-21) in set one and four point deficit (13-17) in set three.

Costa Rica prevailed on 34-23 margin in spikes, 9-4 in blocks and a huge 7-0 advantage in aces. El Salvador committed fewer errors (25-32) than Costa Rica.

Outside hitter Mariano Salas was Costa Rica’s leading scorer with 12 points including 9 kills, followed by middle blocker Jason Brown and outside hitter Elder Quiros with 9 points apiece. Outside hitter Josue Palma and opposite player Banner Godoy led El Salvador with 8 points each.

Costa Rica’s (1-1) next opponent is Nicaragua (1-0) and El Salvador’s (0-2) is Guatemala.

“Clearly, we felt more comfortable” said captain Jason Brown of Costa Rica; “we were less anxious than yesterday and things were much better, this result gives the confidence we need for the rest of our matches. Usually we are too relaxed because we feel the game is already won, we have difficulties to keep up with the same intensity. We want to keep the same rhythm which we started with, from less to more”.

Juan Acuña, head coach of Costa Rica said they have been working to improve the men’s division “yesterday’s opponent, Honduras, has improved and it was much more even game level; my team is well prepared, we started strong but we still need to keep our concentration. We closed really well playing our system; the results will come soon because we have worked hard and with our Federation’s support. I consider that six players from here will be part of our senior team in November”.

Banner Godoy, El Salvador’s captain said “today we practiced better with our setter and we improved our spiking, unfortunately our receivers and libero didn’t perform as expected; we failed in reception and defense. We took advantage of Costa Rica’s errors but we also allowed too many points. We will practice better because we will face Guatemala tomorrow, the strongest team of the competition”.

Coad Feridth Alabi of El Salvador indicated “we are having difficulties to start the game, the boys were lazy and failed in receiving well; we committed too many errors in the first set allowing seven points on the net. Now we have to study our next opponent (Guatemala) and make out the best in practice”.