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Managua is ready to enjoy Beach Volleyball

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, December 2, 2017. - Managua is ready to enjoy the Beach Volleyball double-gender tournament of the eleventh Central American Games that kicks off on Sunday December 2nd at the Salvador Allende sand court in Paseo Xolotlán.

Top seeded Karen Cope and Natalia Alfaro of Costa Rica in the women’s division, and Guatemala’s Andy Leonardo teaming up with Luis Garcia in the men’s field will lead the event as top-seeded.

Natalia Alfaro won the gold medal with former partner Ingrid Morales in the past edition in San Jose and says to be excited to repeat the feat with Karen Cope. “We make a strong team with Karen, we have learned a lot from two world championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Our minds our set on our own performance, trying to improve as the competition develops”.

The hosts registered Swan Mendoza and Lolette Rodriguez who have been teaming up for over a year. Swan finished with the silver medal in San Jose 2013 and hopes to win the gold, “we have been working hard to win the competition; these are my second Central American Games and for Lolette her first in beach. We are aiming for the gold, I feel an obligation to do better than second place; as hosts we are strong contenders to finish on top”.

There are high expectations in the men’s division as the home team of Ruben Mora and Danny Lopez of Nicaragua are seeking for a rematch after losing the Central American championship to Andy and Luis. The Guatemalan duo recently competed in their first World Championship in Vienna and they expect to improve their third place in the Games’ past edition.

“We come well prepared after competing in Vienna and the NORCECA Circuit; we have a good chance of reaching the title match thanks to our Olympic Committee and National Federation support. We know that Ruben and Danny have worked hard”.

Carlos “Tato” Escobar and David “Pepe” Vargas of El Salvador are another duo to look out for; their spirited performance earned them second place in the past edition and are expected to give a good performance here.

Teams will play a round-robin four day preliminary round. In the women’s division, with six teams registered, the first and second placed teams will earn a bye into the semifinals. Seven teams will battle in the men’s field and the first place of the preliminary round will earn a bye to semifinals.

Nicaragua’s Ruben Mora and Danny Lopez kick off the event facing Luis Luna and Gabriel Nuñez of Belize at 9:00 am (local time), followed by Natalia Alfaro and Karen Cope against Stiphany Lezcano and Keysi Caballero of Panama.

Women’s Teams

Karen Cope/Natalia Alfaro (CRC); Kathya Váquez/María Fernanda Vargas (ESA); Paola Alvarado/Estephany Bethancourth (GUA); Jarisa Hynds/Christianne Etches (HON); Swan Mendoza/Lolette Rodríguez (NCA); Stiphany Lezcano/Keysi Caballero (PAN).

Men’s Teams

Luis Luna/Gabriel Nuñez (BIZ); Richard Smith/Sebastián Valenciano (CRC); Carlos Escobar/David Vargas (ESA); Andy Leonardo/Luis García (GUA); Irvin Reyes/Manuel Serrano (HON); Rubén Mora/Danny López (NCA); Davis Montero/Elmar Valdez (PAN).