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Guatemala Sweeps Trinidad & Tobago for 5th Place


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado USA (Oct. 1, 2017) – Guatemala capped its NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship by defeating Trinidad & Tobago 25-18, 25-10, 25-15 in the fifth-place match on Sunday afternoon. By claiming fifth place, Guatemala has earned a berth into NORCECA’s second-chance World Championship qualification tournament that will take place later this fall.


Guatemala, which finished the tournament with three straight wins after finishing third in the three-team Pool A, was led by Erik Flores and Andy Leonardo’s 13 points apiece, Wagner Chacon contributed 12 points in the victory, while Carlos Lopez recorded 10 points.


Trinidad & Tobago was led by Ryan Stewart and Mikheil Hoyte, who each had seven points.


Guatemala’s serve netted a 7-0 advantage in aces and they held an 8-5 margin in blocks.


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.


Trinidad & Tobago Coach Sean Morrison: “First of all, congratulations to Guatemala. They played a great match. We didn’t play well. We didn’t attack, didn’t pass, didn’t block. Didn’t play our volleyball. Guatemala kept slowing us down. They touched all our attacks. They were always leading us. They were not stuff blocking us, but soft touches to allow them to score. We didn’t play any volleyball today. It is another great experience for us. We should have been better. It is a hard loss for us, but we got to work harder next time.”


Trinidad & Tobago Captain Ryan Stewart: “We are disappointed that we loss. But yet, I am still proud of our guys. We are a team, one unit. We win together, lose together. We wanted to win together, but it didn’t happen. But we still put everything out there. I am still proud of these guys. More volleyball to look forward to in the future.”


Guatemala Coach Julio Dominguez: “Well from the very first point, our attitude was the key. That was my first command to the team. It was great since we reached our goal, ending in fifth place to qualify for the next phase.”


Guatemala Captain Gerardo Gonzalez: “From the very first point, our attitude was the key. And our service was very good. It is great to win. Actually, when we lost to USA and Dominican Republic, our goal was to still qualify for the World Championship. Now that we can have that chance, we have to get to the next phase with Cuba and Puerto Rico. That was what we were reaching and we actually did it.”