Golden sets define final positions at NORCECA Interzonal


MONTELIMAR, Nicaragua, February 19, 2012 - Costa Rica outdueled Guatemala in a sensational golden set to claim first place in the NORCECA Men's Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Interzonal Tournament at Montelimar on Sunday.


The series for third place, also decided by a golden-set, went in favor of Nicaragua over El Salvador.


The four Central American countries have already qualified for the final stage of the tournament to be held in Nayarit, Mexico, from June 19 to 23, where they will be challenging the top four qualifiers from the Central Zone – Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico – for a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games.


The Costa Rican duo of Bryan Monge and Esteban Escobar edged Guatemalans Andy Leonardo and Erick Garrido 15-13 in the decisive contest.


Leonardo/Garrido landed to the golden-set having defeated Monge/Escobar 2-1 (11-21, 21-19, 16-14) in the first match of the day and also the other Costa Rican team of Marcelo Araya and Jonathan Guevara 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-11).


Guatemala's Julio Recinos and Moises Reyes lost their two matches of the day, to Araya/Guevara (21-16, 21-11) and to Monge/Escobar (21-14, 21-13).

Nicaragua's Gerald Umaña and Dany Lopez saw a 9-1 advantage to evaporate before bouncing back to claim a 15-13 golden set triumph over El Salvador's Carlos Leiva and David Vargas.


It was the third victory of Sunday for the Nicaraguan duo which had scored a  21-13, 21-16 victory vover Luis Morales and Carlos Escobar and then succeeded against Leiva/Vargas 21-13, 21-18.


"It was an exciting competition and the closing matches couldn't be better," NORCECA delegate Marta Centeno de Sajche said after the award ceremony. "All the participants played at a very high level and that says a lot about the improvement of the beach volleyball quality in our region."


Looking ahead to the upcoming final stage at Nayarit, the opening best-of-five series will have Costa Rica playing Puerto Rico, Guatemala against Mexico, Nicaragua versus Cuba and El Salvador against Canada.


Sunday's results

El Salvador v Nicaragua

ESA-A d. NCA-B 2-0 (21-13, 21-17), NCA-A d. ESA-B (21-13, 21-16), NCA-A d. ESA-A (21-13, 21-18), ESA-B d. NCA-B 2-0 (21-16, 23-21). GS: NCA-A d. ESA-A (15-13).


Costa Rica v Guatemala

CRC-A d. GUA-B 2-0 (21-16, 21-11), GUA-A d. CRC-B 2-1 (11-21, 21-19, 16-14), CRC-B d. GUA-B 2-0 (21-14, 21-13), GUA-A d. CRC-A 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-11). GS: CRC-B d. GUA-A (15-13).