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Guatemala earns semifinal spot with tie-break win to Costa Rica

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, June 9, 2018.- Guatemala earned their semifinal spot with a tie-break win to Costa Rica 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 18-25, 27-25, 15-13) at the NORCECA U19 Boys’ Continental Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The Central American classic did not disappoint. Despite the enormous 23-9 margin in blocks by host Costa Rica, Guatemala scored on 41 opponent errors, deciding the tie-breaker. Costa Rica also held advantage in attacks by 51-50 and in service points 9-7.

Costa Rica’s efforts in set four recovering from an eight point deficit (16-22) weren’t enough to prevent the tie-break.

Guatemala’s wing spiker Kevin Hoil topped all scorers with 22 points on 19 kills and 3 aces. Wing spiker David Ismalej added 14 points and oppsite José Francisco Zuñiga 11 points. Costa Rica balanced their offense with five players finishing with double digit, wing spiker Deykel Smith (21), opposite Dowshel Mc Donald (15), wing spiker Jefferson Guzman (14), middle blockers Juan Diego Arrieta (12) and Yeyco Jimenez (12).

In semifinals Guatemala faces Cuba or Puerto Rica, waiting for the other quarterfinal result between USA and Nicaragua.

Wing spiker Kevin Hoil of Guatemala: “I am really excited, it was a tough battle and I must thank my team. This is a team effort and we are really glad to come and doing a good job here”.

Coach Luis Fernando Castañeda of Guatemala: “I made a mistake in the last set and my boys were able to redirect; they are the ones who deserve earned the victory, they were disciplined and did not lose their head against Costa Rica’s pressure. Our reception allowed us to perform in system”.

Coach Juan Acuña of Costa Rica: “Guatemala improved from the last time we faced them in Panama; they came well prepared and they fought strongly. We lacked decision in sets four and five, it’s a shame because there are many plans with this group of players”.

Captain Juan Arrieta of Costa Rica: “Guatemala is not easy; we lacked concentration. We were the ones with numerous errors, costing us the loss”.