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Costa Rica wins exciting first match to Nicaragua


MANAGUA, Nicaragua, December 10, 2017.- Costa Rica won an exciting first match to Nicaragua 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 29-27) on day one of the men’s Volleyball tournament at the 2017 Managua Central American Games at Alexis Argüello sport complex on Sunday night.


Costa Rica’s raging force stormed past Nicaragua in thrilling long rallies and a hard-fought battle. Nicaragua impressively recovered from a six point deficit in set four but Costa Rica maintained their focus re-directing to hold off the home team.


Costa Rica held a huge 14-8 margin in blocking to stop Nicaragua’s counterattacks; they also held a small advantage in aces with 6-5 margin. Nicaragua scored one more point in kills 52-51. Costa Rica scored on 30 opponent errors and committed 28.


Javier Alvarez of Costa Rica led his team with 18 points, Alberto Blanco chipped in with 16 points, followed by Hugo Rodriguez with 14 points and Julio Alvarez added 10 points. Jonny Zeledon led Nicaragua with 18 points and Moises Tuckler contributed with 14 points.


On the second day of competition, Costa Rica (1-0) faces Honduras (0-1) and Nicaragua (0-1) will meet Panama (0-1).


Head coach of Costa Rica Juan Acuña: “Facing Nicaragua is always hard, they never stop pressing and they have a lot of energy, in fact I don’t know why they chose to face us in the opening match. We pocketed the victory; we shouldn’t have lost a set. I am very satisfied that playing at this splendid venue we were able to keep calm and defeat our opponent. Our strategy with difficult serves and effective blocking worked very well; in the last set we blocked on four important occasions”.


Captain of Costa Rica Alberto Blanco: “We expected a difficult first match, the team has to adjust and if you add that you’re facing the host, it’s even more difficult. It’s always hard to face Nicaragua. I was a good match. We were capable to keep calm with such a noisy crowd, this proved our good concentration; in the last set we didn’t fail any serve past point 20 and that contributed for the win”.


Head coach of Nicaragua Osman Hernández: “In the men’s division there are always hard-fought battles; you really can’t predict who will win each day. Today Costa Rica was the winner, but we can do much better, several of my players did not perform well. I hope that the younger players adjust well so our team can improve”.


Captain of Nicaragua Jorge Toledo: “As hosts we were able to balance the actions with the support of our crowd, pressing much more. It was a good match, sadly it escaped from our hands because we committed childish errors after recovering from a six point deficit in set four. Generally speaking, the team is working ok and our objective is to win a medal”.