Nicaragua wins 3-1 vs Panama

BELIZE CITY, August 8, 2018 Nicaragua enjoyed their first victory of the 20th Central American women’s volleyball championships: 3-1 over Panama (25-22, 29-27, 23-25, 26-24) in the 13th game, in Belize City.

Nicaragua had the advantage on spikes: 54-47, blocks and serving aces: 18-7, and they gained 30 points by their opponents’ errors, which they repaid in kind by 19 errors. Each team served 6 aces.

Middle blockers Josafat Díaz, Helen Trana and Dalia Conto led Nicaragua’s attack; Díaz with 22 points: 14 spikes, 6 blocks and 2 aces. Trana scored 13 points: 11 spikes and 2 blocks. Conto added 10 points: 4 spikes, 3 blocks and 3 aces. Opposite hitters Maryuri Torres y Amalia Díaz each scored seven points.

Opposite Hashlyn Cuero led Panama with 17 points: 14 kills, 2 blocks and an ace. Middle blocker Elena Berrocal scored 13 points: 9 spikes, 1 block and 3 aces, and outside hitter Iris Urrunaga scored 7 points.

Nicaragua’s coach René Ivan Quintana Pereira thanked the Panama team for the win, though he conceded that: “It’s not the usual position to which we have become accustomed, but we were able to find the rhythm and technical control over all the elements of volleyball, which yielded out win. A win is always good. The losses also, because they help us see where we are out of synch. We must find the way to improve the level of volleyball in Central America. This step up in our game must not only be for the teams, but also in the officiating and the organizational logistics, which here in Belize have been excellent! The development of the game should go hand in hand with everything that makes up a tournament.”

Veteran Claudia Noguera admitted: “we knew we would have to focus on our game when we played Panama. It has been a very difficult tournament for us, but we knew to come to each game ready to play our hearts out.”

Panama’s coach Eliot Clarke congratulated Nicaragua on their win, “exploiting our mistakes. And lucky too, to take advantage of what the officials took away from us! That has to improve 100 per cent! Yes, it’s a fight, but let it be a healthy fight.”

Hashlyn Cuero expressed her relief that the tournament was over, congratulating Nicaragua on their win: “we’d like to be in the top 3, but even so, we must thank God for the lessons learnt. Although the result was heavily against us, it teaches us to prepare for the future, to plan better, so that we might achieve the feat which Belize did last night.”