Dramatic five set win for Nicaragua over Costa Rica



GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, October 20, 2015.- Nicaragua beat Costa Rica in dramatic five sets 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-13) on day five at the AFECAVOL Men’s U-19 Central American Championship.

Nicaragua stands with 4-0 record and 18 points continue unstoppable. This was Costa Rica’s second five setter, they have a 3-1 record and 13 points. On Wednesday Nicaragua faces Guatemala while Costa Rica meets Honduras.

Nicaragua won the first set with a comfortable margin focusing on every skill; they performed with energy and powerful kills as well as blocking Costa Rica’s intentions on scoring, they played to win, while Costa Rica played to catch. In set two Costa Rica took advantage of Nicaragua’s errors becoming more effective in spikes keeping the score always close, winning the set after losing three set points 25-22. Nicaragua and Costa Rica engaged in a tough battle in set three, the score was tied on numerous occasions while both performed solidly; set three went to Nicaragua. Costa Rica jumped to an early five point lead with confidence; the margin grew wider and Nicaragua recovered from a seven point deficit (17-20) coming out short. Finally the match went to a tie break where Nicaragua came from a four point deficit (9-13) to finish.

Nicaragua powered up against Costa Rica with impressive 69-41 margin in kills and 7-4 in serves. Costa Rica prevailed in blocking 11-7. Nicaragua scored on Costa Rica’s 49 errors while limiting theirs to 24.

Outside hitter Bayron Hernandez of Nicaragua scored impressive 33 points for a new Central American record, joined by Jonny Zeledon with also impressive 30 points. Outside hitters Jose Ortiz and William Baltodano topped Costa Rica with 14 points apiece, opposite Mariano Salas contributed with 11 points.

“We took advantage that Costa Rica was overconfident in the first set, we were concentrated and we were well prepared to face Costa Rica who was a tough opponent to beat” said Jonny Zeledon captain of Nicaragua.

Osman Hernandez coach of Nicaragua said “our serves worked well and the team’s performance in the first set was solid, in the second they lost concentration and didn’t followed instructions, there were ups and downs but with team effort we finished with a positive result”.

Luis Cordero captain of Costa Rica said “we were very close to win and I feel disappointed; once again we were too relaxed. Nicaragua blocked us well, not letting us attack”.

Assistant coach Arturo Solano of Costa Rica indicated “in this age-group it’s common to lose focus; Nicaragua’s courage in the fifth set was amazing. We weren’t stable in our attacks, especially our outside hitters”.