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Costa Rica Claims Win on Opening Day


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado USA (Sept. 26, 2017) – Costa Rica opened the 2017 NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship with a 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21 victory over Martinique on Tuesday evening at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Alberto Blanco led Costa Rica with 23 points, while Jason Brown totaled 12 points. Julio Alvarez and Estaban Araya each carried 10 points.


Martinique, playing its first-ever NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship, was paced by Rodrigue Larcher’s 16 points and Joann Breleur added 12 points.


Costa Rica held a commanding 57-41 margin in kills, in addition to a 5-4 edge in aces. Martinique won the battle at the net with an 8-5 block margin.


The NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship is a qualification tournament into the 2018 FIVB World Championship. The top three teams in the 10-team field earn berths into the World Championship, while the top two teams in a second NORCECA qualifier held later this fall round out NORCECA’s five vacancies into the world event.


Costa Rica Coach Juan Acuna: “We were tactical the first two games, but in the third set Martinique figured out our tactics and we had to change some things in the fourth set. Heading into our next match, we are not going to change much of our tactics. We are a good team, and now we will study St. Vincent because that is our biggest rival so that we can move on to the next classification.”


Costa Rica Captain Alberto Blanco: “The match was difficult because we didn’t expect them to play that way. In the third set, Martinique’s coach changed their tactics and it went better for them. We are very happy for the victory and we expect to play with the same intensity in the next match.”


Martinique Coach Eddy Erialc: “We lost the game because we didn’t receive very well and we couldn’t stabilize the game. We will check how Mexico plays to accommodate our game to their game so we can win them.”


Martinique Captain David Lefaivre: “We lost a little bit of concentration in the first two sets. In the third set we gained it back. In the fourth set we lost that concentration again.”