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Costa Rica to play for eighth Central American Games title


MANAGUA, Nicaragua, December 15, 2017.- Defending champion Costa Rica will play for their eighth Central American title after beating Panama 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 26-24) in the women’ Volleyball tournament of the XI Central American Games Managua 2017 at Alexis Argüello sport complex.


Costa Rica’s erratic performance controlled Panama after recovering from a seven point deficit (5-12) in set three. Costa Rica with 5-0 win-loss record and 23 points is set to face Nicaragua for the gold medal in their fourth consecutive title match, aiming to keep reigning the Central American territory.


Panama surprised Costa Rica with strong attacks but failed consistency with difficulties in receiving Costa Rica’s powerful serves. Panama stands with 1-4 record and 7 points.


Costa Rica held advantage in attacks 33-31 and aces 9-1; in blocking both finished with 4 points. Costa Rica scored Panama’s 30 unforced errors while committing 24 or their own.


Opposite Paola Ramirez led Costa Rica with 15 points, while middle blocker Mijal Hines and setter Yuliana Gonzalez chipped in with 9 and 8 points respectively. Outside hitter Joanna Arroyo of Panama scored 12 points, middle blocker Angela Evans finished with 10 points and opposite Hashlyn Cuero added 8 points.


Panama (1-4) will face Belize (0-4) on the last day of competition and Costa Rica (5-0) faces Nicaragua (5-0) in the title match.


Outside hitter of Costa Rica Marcela Araya: “It’s important to underline our capacity to recover; but we shouldn’t be in this position to start with, so there is much to improve. Costa Rica has a very complete team, but we need too much concentration. We are glad to reach the last match undefeated against Nicaragua, so it really is a title match and we hope to perform well and reach our goal”.


Head coach of Costa Rica Cesar Salas: “It was a bad performance. Coming from behind and having to wait for a player to score on aces tells us how badly we performed. I feel as if the players were already thinking about tomorrow’s match without winning this one, tactically speaking they sere disobedient. We need to adjust our passing because it was off on position 4. We accomplished our goal to play the title match, but we can’t repeat this disaster”.