HERMOSILLO, Mexico, August 26, 2022.- Costa Rica bounced back from an 0-2 set-deficit to beat Nicaragua 3-2 (19-25, 20-25, 25-14, 25-22, 15-13) in a placing match at the Women’s Pan American Cup in the Sonora Arena of Hermosillo.
Costa Rica will play for seventh place against the winner between Canada and Peru, while Nicaragua plays the loser for ninth place.
Costa Rica had a formidable comeback after falling in two closed sets and taking control of the third set jumping to an early eight-point lead (10-2); still they had difficulties overcoming Nicaragua missing two set-points in the third, three in the fourth set and coming from behind (8-10) in the fifth.
Costa prevailed 69-57 in attacks, 11-7 in blocks and 4-3 in aces. Nicaragua committed fewer errors (20-32).
Opposite hitter Angelica Rodriguez of Costa Rica led all scorers with 23 points on 20 kills, two blocks and one ace, followed by outside hitter Tamara Espinoza with 21 points and middle blocker Lakysha Thompson added 17 points including a match-high of 4 blocks.
Three players scored double-figures for Nicaragua, outside hitter and team captain of Nicaragua Ericka Calero with 15 points, middle blocker Brittany Forbes with 14 points and opposite hitter Hellen Traña with 12 points.
Pablo Acuña, head coach of Costa Rica: “It was a complex match, Nicaragua played very well the first two sets, they are a great opponent, and this has become a Central American classic. The player’s reaction took too long, emotionally, and tactically as well. The huge advantage in the third set was because of the team’s energy, our offense was effective, and we executed the game plan we practiced today”.
Ericka Calero, captain of Nicaragua: “We lost concentration as a team, we were uncertain on the court and our offense-defense communication couldn’t connect like in the first two sets. Our team’s energy couldn’t recover from losing the third set, we couldn’t pick ourselves up”.