Four Central American countries clinch semifinals spots


MONTELIMAR, Nicaragua, February 17, 2012 – Hosts Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica all locked up spots in the semifinal phase of the NORCECA Men’s Beach Volleyball Continental Cup inter zonal tournament between Central America and the Caribbean at Montelimar Beach located in the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua on Friday.


The four Central America countries scored 3-1 victories in their best-of-five quarterfinals series while Jamaica and St. Kitts and Nevis outlasted Cayman Islands and Bahamas respectively by winning golden sets in the losers’ bracket and stayed in competition –along with Panama and Trinidad and Tobago- for the third and fourth places.


The top four teams from the tournament will then take on the four qualifiers from the Central Zone – Cuba, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico – for a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games. That tournament will be held in Nayarit, Mexico from June 19 to 23.


In Saturday’s action Nicaragua take on Costa Rica while El Salvador battle Guatemala with the winners booking tickets to the finals in Nayarit. In the dispute for the third and fourth berths Jamaica are to play Trinidad and Tobago while Panama meet St. Kitts and Nevis.


After losing the first match of their series against Bahamas, Nicaragua bounced back with three wins in a row to move on. Gerald Umaña/Dany Lopez succeeded 21-13, 22-20 against Byron Ferguson and Princtanique Wilson and then saw off Muller Petit/Renaldo Knowles 21-18, 21-19. The decisive win came by the hands of Winston Calderon and David Mayorga who came from behind to win 19-21, 21-16, 15-11 over Ferguson/Wilson.


Andy Leonardo and Erick Garrido of Guatemala-A won their two matches against Jamaica’s Wayne Scott/Mark Lewis (21-17, 17-21, 15-13) and Donovan Richards/Andre McLean (21-13, 21-17) while the combo of Julio Recinos/Moisés Reyes prevailed 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-10) over Scott/Lewis.


The series between El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago proved to be a tough one with both teams trading victories in the first two matches. Then Carlos Leiva and David Vargas of El Salvador defeated Nolan Tash/Sean Morrison (21-10, 21-15) and Luis Morales/Carlos Escobar survived in a duel with Fabien Whitfield/Simon Blake winning 14-21, 21-13, 15-12.


In the last quarterfinals, with the series tied at 1-1, Costa Rica’s Marcelo Araya/Jonathan Guevara downed Panama’s Domingo Avila/Edward Diaz 21-13, 21-19 and Bryan Monge/Esteban Escobar dominated Otto Penso/Gilberto Martinez 21-7, 21-12.


In late action on Friday, Jamaica’s Scott/Lewis won a golden set (15-9) against Shervin Rankin/Richard Campbell of Cayman Islands while St. Kitts and Nevis’ Shawn Seabrookes/St. Clair Hodge edged Bahamas’ Petit/Knowles to keep alive their hopes of making it to the final phase next June in Nayarit, Mexico.


Friday's results

Guatemala 3, Jamaica 1

GUA-A d. JAM-B 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 15-13), GUA-B d. JAM-A 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-10), GUA-A d. JAM-A 2-0 (21-13, 21-17), JAM-B d. GUA-B 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 16-14).


Nicaragua 3, Bahamas 1

NCA-A d. BAH-B 2-0 (21-13, 22-20), BAH-A d. NCA-B 2-1 (18-21, 23-21, 15-12), NCA-A d. BAH-A 2-0 (21-18, 21-19), NCA-B d. BAH-B 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-11).


El Salvador 3, Trinidad and Tobago 1

ESA-B d. TRI-A 2-0 (21-15, 21-13), TRI-B d. ESA-A 2-0 (21-19, 21-15), ESA-A d. TRI-A 2-0 (21-10, 21-15), ESA-B d. TRI-B 2-1 (14-21, 21-13, 15-12).


Costa Rica 3, Panama 1

CRC-A d. PAN-B 2-0 (21-12, 21-15), PAN-A d. CRC-B 2-0 (21-19, 21-15), CRC-A d. PAN-A 2-0 (21-13, 21-19), CRC-B d. PAN-B 2-0 (21-7, 21-12).


St. Kitts and Nevis 2, Bahamas 1

BAH-A d. SKN-B 2-0 (21-15, 21-15), SKN-A d. BAH-B 2-1 (21-15, 16-21, 15-10). GS: SKN-A d. BAH-A (15-11).


Jamaica 2, Cayman Islands 1

JAM-B d. CAY-A 2-0 (21-7, 21-12), CAY-B d. JAM-A 2-1 (21-12, 20-22, 15-9). GS: JAM-B d. CAY-A (15-9).