Costa Rica rules 3-1 over Guatemala


BELIZE CITY, Belize, August 6, 2018 - Undefeated Costa Rica continues to dominate the 20th Central American women’s volleyball championships, prevailing 3-1 over Guatemala (19-25, 25-9, 25-12, 25-15) in the seventh match in Belize City.


Costa Rica got off to a shaky start in the first set, but soon found their rhythm and gained the advantage in all aspects of the game: 42-32 on spikes, 11-6 on blocks, and the serve was their long range artillery: 16 - 5 on aces served. They gained 25 points by their opponents’ mistakes, though they conceded 18 points by unforced errors.


Outside hitter Yuliana González was the cutting edge with 19 points, hammering 12 spikes, 1 block and serving 6 aces! Team captain Tannia Carazo scored 15 points: 11 kills, serving 3 aces, and 1 kill block. Middle blocker Johanna Gamboa and setter Irene Fonseca scored 10 points each: Gamboa serving 4 aces, with 3 blocks and 3 spikes, Fonseca with 6 spikes, 2 blocks and 2 aces.


Guatemala may have won the first set 25-19, but middle blocker Aury Alvarez and opposite Martha Guillermo were held to 9 points each.  


Costa Rica’s coach Cesar Salas Salazar explained: “Guatemala’s strong serve gave us some trouble in the first set, we trailed by 4 points which became 8, and we could not get back. But we stuck to our game plan, and the team read the opponents’ tells well. We hit all our targets, our serve had to be aggressive, the hitters had to be marked, and we made the most of second chance attacks.”


Team captain Tannia Carazo explained, “at the start of the game, the Guatemalans’ serve pressured us a lot. They marked our hitters well and blocked our attacks in that set. After that, we followed the coach’s instructions, with us on the attack, and we took the following sets and won the game! Happy ending!”


Guatemala’s coach William Fernández Pizot William acknowledged, “Costa Rica’s merits are that they have always been a rock-steady team with a very strong game, who make very few errors throughout the game, and they’ve never lost!”


Ada Villalobos congratulated Costa Rica, because “they were consistent in their game, and our defense was no match for their weapons, which are many! Whenever they escaped our blocks, they took full advantage to hammer a kill, which we were unable to do. We had it – for a while; but we lost focus,… and we’ll keep on practicing!”