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Panama wins AFECAVOL opener to El Salvador


MANAGUA, Nicaragua, November 30, 2016.- Panama beat El Salvador 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-23) in the first match of the round-robin AFECAVOL Women’s FIVB World Championship qualification tournament at Managua, Nicaragua.


El Salvador took the lead at the beginning with comfortable advantage but Panama’s spikers worked slowly to move forward and were able to tie the actions at point 20; from there on the Panamanians remained on top.


El Salvador’s advantage in spikes 32-23 weren’t enough to counterattack Panama’s 9-2 lead in blocks and 5-3 in aces. Panama committed 38 errors while El Salvador 30.


Outside hitter Maria Gallimore led Panama spikers with 12 points while outside hitters Madeline Gonzales and Adriana Flores led El Salvador with 13 points apiece.


On Thursday, El Salvador (0-1) will face Guatemala and Panama (1-0) meets the home team Nicaragua.


Captain Joanna Arroyo of Panama said “we are fighters, it was very difficult for us to compete in this tournament; our preparation started a month ago and despite of that we cameo out on top, just like David against Goliath. Our setters just started to play with us and I am surprised of the good job they did, they definitely are leaders. This victory gives us more confidence”.


“In my opinion our spikes weren’t effective; we lacked energy and gave Panama more opportunities. We were leading in the first set and our own errors made it hard to recover. Nothing’s lost yet; I believe that the first match is always the hardest” said El Salvador’s Captain Adriana Flores.


Head coach Eliot Clarke of Panama indicated that it’s motivating to start with a victory “we aren’t used to play with this ball, we asked for time-outs at the right moments and the girls responded well, they played calm. We must work on receiving, attacking and defense”.


Dany Calderon, Coach of El Salvador explained “we committed too many unforced errors and it costs us the match. The scores show it was a tight match but we will continue to fight, this was our first match and I think the players were nervous”.