Costa Rica edges Nicaragua in five thrilling sets

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, October 21 2021 - Costa Rica (4-0) brought out all its caste, courage and experience, to win a great match 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 15-6) to Nicaragua (3-1) on the fifth day of the XXI Central American Senior Women's Volleyball Cup.


In a high-tension match, full of emotions, Costa Rica remained undefeated in four games, always coming from behind, recovering from deficits of up to seven points, first winning the fourth set and then coming out with determination in the fifth.


Costa Rica's blocking responded in the fifth set, with Lakysha Thompson and Tatiana Sayles scoring well the attacks of Josafat Díaz and Valeska Hernández, while exhibiting great defense with libero María José Castro and setter Melissa Campos.


The first set went to Nicaragua with a good performance from Hellen Traña, while on the Costa Rican side, Karen Cope carried the weight of the team by scoring 21 points, 19 of them in the first four sets.


For Costa Rica, Tamara Espinoza with 16 and 9 from Julissa Rodríguez. Traña was the best in Nicaragua with 18 and was followed by Valeska Hernández with 16 and Erica Calero with 12.


Nicaragua was more effective with 55 points per attack, to 49 for Costa Rica, who was better in blocks 13-8 and in service 5-4.


Karen Cope, Costa Rica's best scorer: “I have a lot of mixed emotions right now, but yes, I am very happy, this feeling is unforgettable... to win here, with this crowd, with all the pressure of the gym, against a Nicaragua very strong, combative, it makes us feel the happiest ”.


“I think that all of us support each other and if one is doing things wrong, then the other comes and supports you. The mental part was important, it allowed us to get out of the pressure of the first set and remain calm in the closing, that was fundamental ”, said Cope.


Irene Fonseca, captain of Costa Rica: “We are super happy, we knew that this was our final, that they also prepared for this match, it was worthy of a final, although we have not won anything yet, if this victory gives us many possibilities, It is a very big step to get on the podium ”.


“The atmosphere here is always difficult, the fans are very large, the support, the noise, at the beginning we ate that part a bit, the team has its rookie players and the atmosphere is so great, it helped us a lot to gain confidence, especially in the second set, that we knew how to handle the Nicaraguan game ”, said Fonseca.


Pablo Acuña, coach of Costa Rica: “It was a match worthy of a final, although this is not over yet for us. We knew that Nicaragua will be very complicated, we moved our pieces looking for a way to decipher the Nicaraguan game, and the key was that all 12 players do their job, we have a great team and they all contributed to achieve this great victory.


Costa Rica will face Panama this Friday at 4:00 p.m., while Nicaragua will play Belize at 7:00 p.m.