El Salvador triumph over Nicaragua to keep hopes for bronze


SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, November 15, 2018.- Hosts El Salvador dominated Nicaragua in the needed straight sets 3-0 (26-24, 26-24, 28-26) to keep their hopes of winning the Men's AFECAVOL Central American Championship bronze medal alive.


It was a neck to neck battle that ended with El Salvador improving to 2-3 their win-loss record and 12 points in ranking and puts them in the run for bronze standing in third place. Also with the same 2-3 record are Belize and Nicaragua; Belize is in fourth place with 10 points, followed by Nicaragua with 8 points.


El Salvador had it rough bouncing back in all three sets, as Nicaragua's resilient attackers Garcia and Zeledon never stopped pounding over the net. In set two El Salvador came back on two occasions, the first recovering from five points down (1-6) and then from three deficit points (15-18). The undying will from both sides was stronger in a dramatic third set finishing.


El Salvador led 13-11 in blocking and Nicaragua held 43-41 advantage in attacks. Both teams scored 2 points from the service line and El Salvador committed fewer errors (18-24).


The host used a balanced scoring offense with outside hitter Francisco Hernández (17pts), middle blocker Diego Guidos (12pts), opposite Carlos Rodriguez (10pts) and outside hitter Rodrigo Chavez (10pts). Opposite Denis Garcia of Nicaragua topped all scorers with 19 points. Nicaragua's outside hitter Jony Zeledon contributed with 13 points and middle blocker Diego Cuadra scored 9 points.


Outside hitter Carlos Rodríguez of El Salvador said Nicaragua is always a strong opponent "they never make things easy; today either won of us could have won, but we minimized our errors and pressured with our serves because they had difficulties receiving and opening their passing to the ends".


Roberto García, assistant coach of El Salvador said "all our matches have been dramatic; today's result was very important because we were fighting for the bronze. Our last opponent is Panama and we hope they continue as distracted as they have been in other games. Today my team was more relaxed, they weren't as pressures to be the host".


Osman Hernández coach of Nicaragua said unfortunately they didn't reach their goal "my guys fought strong, they gave everything they have; some mental errors at the end of each set cost us the loss, the team couldn't the fighting spirit that we hoped for. They didn't take the crucial decisions because they lacked courage".