Costa Rica with important straight set win over Belize

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, September 21, 2018.- Costa Rica with important straight set win 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-21) over  Belize on day six of the Men’s U23 AFECAVOL Central American Championship in Teodoro Palacios Flores Gymnasium in Guatemala City.

Costa Rica earned five important points for a total of 17 ranking points and improving to 3-2 win-loss record, keeping them in the run for the bronze medal and waiting for the Panama’s result against Nicaragua later in the day.

Belize always took charge at the beginning of all three sets but couldn’t keep a consistent performance. Costa Rica recovered from a five point deficit (11-16) in set two moving into set three with more confidence.

Costa Rica led 37-31 in attacks and 2-0 in aces. Both teams scored on 6 blocks. Costa Rica committed fewer errors (25-30) than Belize.

Costa Rican outside hitter Elder Quiros scored 13 points, on 11 kills, one block and one ace, followed by middle blocker Jason Brown with 10 points, and outside hitters Mariano Salas and Oscar Ramirez added 8 point apiece. Outside hitter Daryl Avila led Belize with 13 points including 11 kills.

On the last day of competition, Costa Rica (3-2) faces Guatemala (4-0) and Belize (0-4) meets El Salvador (1-4).

Mariano Salas of Costa Rica said that minor errors put them in difficulties in the second set “without underestimating Belize, our deficit in the second set was our tactical disobedience; our intensity was lower. We really committed ourselves in winning in three sets. Our goal was to win the gold, we should have been more responsible and it’s important to finish with a medal”.

Juan Acuña coach of Costa Rica said “I was worried that my players weren’t concentrating enough and their performance lacked energy or desire, Belize could have turned around the result. At the moment we recovered in set two, we moved forward. I believe nobody can take away from us third place, we aren’t satisfied, the team was prepared to win first place. It will be a challenge to face Guatemala”.

Middle blocker Lirisi Cayetano of Belize expressed “Belize is a very dominant blocking team, that’s how we score the most and we defend also by blocking, and today we were out of system. We began to fall apart because of our lack of communication, then we failed attempts while hitting”.

Cuban Esmudio Limonta head coach of Belize, indicated that his team continues committing unforced errors “this has been consistent in all our games, which is normal because of the short time we had to prepare; we can’t expect more”.