Nicaragua over Costa Rica at AFECAVOL U21


SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, October 1, 2019.- Nicaragua beat Costa Rica 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-23) for their second win in a row at the AFECAVOL U21 Central American Championship in FESAVOL Gymnasium of San Salvador, El Salvador.


Defending champion Nicaragua came from behind in all three sets to keep their unbeaten (2-0) win-loss record. In set one they recovered from 17-22 as they found their way to move around Costa Rica’s defense over the net.


Nicaragua held 41-33 advantage in kills and 9-6 in blocks while Costa Rica prevailed in aces 5-2. Both teams allowed 23 points on unforced errors.


Nicaragua and Costa Rica both used a balanced offense.  The winners relied on middle blocker Jefferson Cascante (16pts), outside hitter Lenon Oporta (12pts) and outside hitter Marcial Sandoval (12pts), while Costa Rica debuted supported by opposite Deykel Smith (14pts), outside hitter Fabian Torres (11pts) and outside hitter Dowshel Smith (10pts).


Nicaragua (2-0) will rest on Wednesday and Costa Rica (0-1) faces Belize (0-2).


Lenon Oporta, opposite player of Nicaragua: “It was team effort, everything went well. I thought we were going to lose when were behind in the first set, but we have great confidence in our performance”.


Juan Diego Arrieta, Captain of Costa Rica: “This is just the first game; we have our minds set on winning the championship. Nicaragua is one of our direct opponents and today they were superior. The first set slipped away from us, we weren’t able to close and it was a tough clash”.


Jorge Mena, Head coach of Nicaragua: “We came prepared for these two matches, it was important to have two victories from the beginning. From here onward we must play as much as we can and we now we go to rest with two victories that allows us to gain more energy and retain the title. Our defense was really good”.


Sergio Araya, Head coach of Costa Rica: “We weren’t able to cover the line with our blocks; the guys couldn’t block on time and we lost important points. The emotional factor of losing the first set after a comfortable advantage also influenced our performance. Nicaragua was motivated and was impossible to stop, added to the fact that they were in better rhythm after their debut yesterday”.