Nicaragua clinches a medal with victory against Honduras

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, September 22, 2018. - Nicaragua clinched a medal at the 4th Men’s U23 AFECAVOL Central American Championship winning to Honduras 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-15) at Teodoro Palacios Flores Gymnasium in Guatemala City.

Nicaragua finished the competition with 4-2 win-loss record and 18 ranking points. With the result they at least win the bronze medal but can become silver medalist waiting for the result between Costa Rica and four-time champion Guatemala. Honduras finished in fifth place.

Nicaragua seemed disoriented at the beginning, with Honduras pressuring with little resistance and scoring on strong attacks and effective blocking. In set two, they reached an even 14, but Nicaragua working well around their opponents’ blocks. Nicaragua figured out Honduras strategy in the third set, to close their victory with a huge advantage.

Nicaragua prevailed in attacks (54-40) and in aces (7-3), but Honduras held a sizeable blocking advantage (14-8). Nicaragua committed 23 errors and Honduras 28.

Opposite player Denis Garcia carried Nicaragua scoring a match-high of 26 points including 25 powerful attacks; outside hitter Jonny Zeledon added 19 tallies including 14 attacks and 4 unstoppable serves and Ronny Valdivia joined  with 11 points. On Honduras side, opposite Juan Menjivar scored 17 points on 13 kills, 3 blocks and one ace, followed by middle blocker William Bulnes with 9 points.

“Today we weren’t nervous, we weren’t pressured and we executed our real way of playing” said Denis Garcia captain of Nicaragua; “we are glad for winning a medal, we showed what we are capable of, unfortunately our anxiousness didn’t allow us to play this way the whole tournament” he added.

Osman Hernández coach of Nicaragua said “my team’s attitude was crucial today, after losing to Panama yesterday. My team was determined to give all their potential after losing the first set. Our problem during the tournament was finishing and today we couldn’t give us that luxury”.

Captai Alejandro Avila of Honduras explained that their anxiety to perform well made them commit too many errors “after a good first set, where we executed well in every skill, we pressured ourselves because a medal was in stake”.