MANAGUA, Nicaragua, October 21, 2022.- Guatemala (4-0) kept their undefeated streak after a 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-15, 25-14) win over Nicaragua (2-1) to close day four at the XIX AFECAVOL Men’s U21 Central American Championship.
Guatemala’s effective blocking stopped Nicaragua’s attacking with a 15-blocking margin against five.
After winning the first set 25-23, Guatemala gave in with a 14-22 deficit in the second set and pressured to move 21-22 but Nicaragua won 22-25.
In the third and fourth sets, Guatemala reached the second technical time-out 16-10 advantage, thanks to their effective blocking, mostly by José Pérez who finished with 26 points, 5 from blocks; captain Javier Lucero ended with 19 points (3 blocks), Yeferson Zavala included 4 blocks from his 10 points total, as well as Franciso Gamboa.
Nicaragua’s best scorer was Evans Solís with 22 points, Josué Blandón with 13 and 12 from Víctor Cruz.
Guatemala was better in kills 59-50 but scored fewer serves 2-3, committing 19 errors against 21 from Nicaragua.
José Pablo Pérez, best scorer of Guatemala: “Today’s key was our attitude, we were motivated as a team, and everything turned out perfectly. We did well in blocking, we observed they were spiking only diagonally, and we adjusted. We achieved to win two of the most difficult matches, we still have Panama and El Salvador to finish, and we hope to win”.
Javier Lucero, captain of Guatemala: “It was an important match for our goals, we continue to battle, and we had great energy to win. The key was over the net, blocking, we put on a mark, and we remain battling the rest of the tournament. The coaching staff pointed out their weaknesses and we executed what they had planned”.
On Saturday, Guatemala plays Panama at 4:00 p.m. and Nicaragua faces Costa Rica at 6:00 p.m.