Back News




Costa Rica starts NORCECA U19 beating Nicaragua

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, June 7, 2018.- Costa Rica started their NORCECA U19 Continental Championship campaign beating Nicaragua 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-14, 27-25) at Gimnasio Nacional of San Jose, Costa Rica.

Host Costa Rica used a balanced offense to control Nicaragua that recovered from a seven point deficit (6-13) winning set two and battle neck to neck in the longest match of the event until now.

Costa Rica subdued their Central American neighbors by huge margins in attacks (44-27) and (16-6) in blocks, and a slim 5-4 advantage in aces. Costa Rica scored on 35 opponent errors while committing 48 of their own.

Opposite Dowshel Mc Donald and wing spiker Deykel Smith led Costa Rica with 15 points each, and wing spiker Jefferson Guzman tallied 13 points. Wing spiker Marcial Sandoval topped Nicaragua with 10 points, followed by opposite Axel Zamora with 8 points. 

Costa Rica (1-0) concludes the preliminary round on Friday facing Puerto Rico (1-0) to top pool A and Nicaragua (0-2) finishes in third place and awaits their opponent in Saturday’s quarterfinal.

Captain Juan Diego Arrieta of Costa Rica said to be satisfied because this is a key victory “winning to Nicaragua in the preliminary round was the most important thing to do. This is the best way to start the tournament. Nicaragua started to add in set two and we lost our confidence. Group effort, attacking and blocking effectively helped us to finish on top”.

For coach Juan Acuña of Costa Rica, hosting the event plays an important role in his team “my boys are really motivated to be playing here at home, they were nervous and our game plan was well executed. We studied Nicaragua a lot, so our offensive was really effective for this positive outcome, even if Nicaragua pushed us out of balance in set two”.

Wing spiker Marcial Sandoval of Nicaragua said their high spirited helped them play neck to neck with Costa Rica “we were always cheering each other and attacking, we need more energy. This experience helps us to grow as a team as well as individually”.

Accordin to coach Jorge Mena of Nicaragua, his team lacks power “facing Costa Rica is always a good challenge; we were able to push hard but we couldn’t seal the win. My wing spikers weren’t effective enough and failed in set four closing. The tournament gets even harder with this loss”.