Costa Rica Three-Time undefeated Boys’ U19 AFECAVOL Champion

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 15, 2022.- Costa Rica was crowned AFECAVOL Boys’ U19 Three-Time undefeated Champion beating El Salvador 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-16) on Thursday at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

Costa Rica won their eight AFECAVOL title, their third in a row, with perfect 5-0 record and 25 points, with 15 sets in favor and none against, strengthening their supremacy in the age-group category, since the creation of the event in 1982 they have reached the Central American podium.

Costa Rica lost three set points (24-19) before winning the second set and coming from behind in the third before becoming undefeated champion.

Costa Rica prevailed over El Salvador in every element of the game, attacks (38-24), blocks (7-2) and serves (4-2). Both teams committed a similar number of unforced errors, Costa Rica with 24 and El Salvador with 26.

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David Cordoba of Costa Rica spikes against El Salvador

Two players of Costa Rica scored double-digits, opposite hitter and team captain David Cordoba with 18 points on 15 attacks, two blocks and one ace, and outside hitter Stanley Grant with 14 points from 13 attacks and one ace.

The leading scorer of El Salvador was outside hitter Rafael Vargas with 8 points, joined by outside hitter Marlon Solorzano with 7 points.

Robertocarlo Argüello, head coach Costa Rica: “We were prepared for a complicated match because they (El Salvador) had nothing to lose, and our closing could have been difficult. On our way from Costa Rica, we were determined to go back undefeated, with 15 sets in favor and none against. Thank God all the effort of this team during practices, training camps in Costa Rica gave its fruits”.

Gerardo Hernández, head coach of El Salvador: “I am glad about my boys, for the eleven players this was a great experience competing at an international event. At the beginning of the tournament, we had hopes for more, but the level of play of the under-19 category in Central America has improved, which is good to compete outside our region. We are leaving satisfied with the job done, the boys enjoyed themselves and learned a lot from all the matches”.

Guatemala Sub Champion U19 defeating Nicaragua

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 15, 2022.- Guatemala finished AFECAVOL Boys’ U19 Sub Champion defeating Nicaragua 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-11) at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

Guatemala ended the evento with 3-2 record and 17 points, winning their seventh silver medal in this age-group, their fourth in a row. Nicaragua finished with a 3-2 record and 11 points: waiting for the result between Belize and Honduras for their final position in the tournament.

The first set was the most challenging, but Guatemala was unstoppable in the next two; in the second set jumping to an 11-2 advantage to move forward in the third set for a huge 21-8 advantage.

El primer set fue el más disputado, pero Guatemala fue imparable en los siguientes dos; en el segundo saltando a una ventaja de 11-2 para luego entrar al tercero alcanzando una ventaja de 21-8.

Guatemala held a 27-24 advantage in attacks and 8-5 in blocks, while Nicaragua held a 5-4 margin in serves. Guatemala scored 36 points from Nicaraguan errors and handed out 16.

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Pedro Villatoro of Guatemala attacks

Outside hitter Roberto Recinos scored 9 points as Guatemala’s leading scorer. Als contributing in the win was outside hitter Pedro Villatoro and middle blocker Sergio Paz with 8 points each.

Scoring a match-high was Nicaraguan Evans Solis with 14 points, all on kills; accompanied by setter Cristhoper Castillo with 8 tallies.

Luis Fernando Castañeda, head coach of Guatemala: “We were aware of the importance of this game, maybe the most important one of the competition, we didn’t want to be left out of winning a medal. The boys went out with all they had and played good volleyball; I recognize their effort. This is the result of the harmony between the athletes and the coaching staff, my assistant (my father) who has a great lot of experience and the physiotherapist who was always taking care of the athletes’ well-being”.

Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua: “Every match is different, the opponent came out to win and they have a lot of experience. We are a young team who needs continuity because they are capable, but the pressure was too much, they couldn’t handle it mentally”.

Historic bronze medal for Belize

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 15, 2022.- Belize won the bronze medal at the XIV AFECAVOL Boys’ U19 Central American Championship after defeating Honduras 3-0 (26-24, 25-9, 25-11) at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

Belize ended the tournament with a 3-2 record, the same as Nicaragua, but with 14 points against 11 of the Nicaraguan team.  

Honduras shook Belize in a challenging first set, but not enough to stop their strength in the next two sets.

Belize led attacks 27-19, blocks 11-2 and the service point by a slim 3-2 margin. Belize committed 21 unforced errors and Honduras a total of 35.

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Preston Smith of Belize tipping the ball

Opposite hitter Preston Smith scored 15 points for Belize, from 12 attacks, two blocks and one ace, followed by outside hitter Eleazar Mejía with 11 points on 6 attacks and 5 blocks.

Honduras top scorer was middle blocker Leonardo Villegas with 8 points.

Albert Hummes, head coach of Belize: “First of all Happy Independence Day to Honduras and for us it’s the celebration of our first medal in the history of the youth category. I am very happy for my guys, this is a great reward for their hard work.  We played day by day and we were expecting a good outcome”.

Guatemala improves record 2-2 defeating Honduras

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 14, 2022.- Guatemala improved their record 2-2 after defeating Honduras 3-0 (25-19, 25-9, 25-20) at the XIV Boys’ U19 AFECAVOL Central American Championship at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

On the last day of competition Guatemala with a record of 2-2 and twelve points will face Nicaragua (3-1) with eleven points, with the possibility of winning a medal. Honduras has a 0-4 record and closes against Belize (2-2).

Guatemala came from behind in the third set (8-12) reaching an even 14, advancing to finish in straight sets.

Guatemala prevailed over Honduras with a 28-24 margin in attacks and a huge 10-1 advantage in service points, as well as 8-1 in blocks. Guatemala committed 22 unforced errors and Honduras 28.

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Adolfo Rivas of Guatemala sets the ball

Middle blocker Sergio Paz of Guatemala was the best scorer of the game with 18 points on 6 kills, 3 blocks and the most aces with 9 points.

Outside hitter Leonardo Villegas of El Salvador finished with 12 points, all from kills.

Adolfo Rivas, captain of Guatemala: “We all had a good attitude, celebrating every point and each player did their role on the court. We are closing strong and tomorrow we will give our all.

Luis Fernando Castañeda, head coach of Guatemala: “Thanks to the boys’ effort we are in the battle for a medal. The tournament has been strong, we started with defeats, but we went on improving our rhythm of play to fight to reach the podium with two straight wins in a row. We close with Nicaragua who have experienced players from their competitive national league, and we want to do things well tomorrow”.

Costa Rica is already Three-Time U19 Central American Champion

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 14, 2022.- Costa Rica is already Three-Time Champion with one day left of competition after defeating Belize 3-0 (25-11, 28-26, 25-22) at the XIV Boys’ U19 AFECAVOL Central American Championship.

With a 4-0 record and 20 points, no team can catch up with Costa Rica; tomorrow they face El Salvador.

Belize’s reaction after falling in the first set was strong, with strength in attacks and losing two set points that Costa Rica brushed away with great effort to win the second set. In the third set, Belize recovered from a four-point deficit (16-20) but it wasn’t enough to extend the game.

Costa Rica did better in blocking 12-3, while Belize dominated in attacks 32-25; both teams scored 3 points from serves. Costa Rica scored 38 points from Belizean errors and handed out 21.

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Costa Rica Three-Time U19 AFECAVOL Central American Champion

Opposite hitter and team captain David Córdoba, alongside outside hitter Stanley Grant with 11 points apiece, and middle blocker Jeremy Venega with 10 points led Costa Rica’s scoring offense.

The top scorer of the match was outside hitter Eleazar Mejia of Belize with 19 points.

David Córdoba, captain of Costa Rica: “It’s a great joy. Since leaving Costa Rica our mentality was to be champions once more; thank God it is a three-time championship win. Tomorrow we are going for the win and be undefeated champion, that’s our second goal”.

Robertocarlo Argüello, head coach of Costa Rica: “It was a great pressure because we were looking for a hat-trick and we are reaching one of our goals, tomorrow we wish to close with a win to be undefeated. We prepared well to be here, the boys were tough in the second set, they were cold headed, their blocking was steady against Belize’s powerful attacks, and they complied to reach the goal”.

Nicaragua with another comeback win in five sets 

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 14, 2022.- Nicaragua came from behind to beat El Salvador 3-2 (20-25, 15-25, 25-17, 25-12, 15-8) at the XIV Boys’ U19 AFECAVOL Central American Championship being held at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

This was the second occasion that Nicaragua recovered from an 0-2 set deficit to come out on top in five sets. Nicaragua now has a 3-1 record and eleven points to be in route to reaching the podium. El Salvador drops to 1-3 and has eight points.

Nicaragua dominated the categories of attacks (50-34) and serves (13-8), both teams scored on 7 blocks. Nicaragua scored 30 points from El Salvador’s errors and handed out 38.

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Angelo Guadamuz of Nicaragua spikes against El Salvador

Opposite player Victor Bermudez and outside hitter Evans Solis contributed with 21 points each in Nicaragua’s victory; Solís on 5 points from aces. Also, middle blocker Angelo Guadamuz collected 11 points.

Middle blocker Ricardo Alegría was the top scorer of El Salvador with 16 points, joined by outside hitter Rafael Vargas with 13 points.

On the last day Nicaragua (3-1) will face Guatemala (1-2) and El Salvador (1-3) against Costa Rica (3-0).

Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua: “We are having difficulties to get into rhythm from the beginning, this is hurting us, it seems like we are the team of five sets. This game was crucial, with the win we are in the medals, tomorrow we just need to win and with one loss we will be sub champions”.

Ricardo Alegría, top scorer of El Salvador: “We gave all our effort, it worked in the beginning. This is part of the game that your opponent responds. We enjoyed it and we must be happy”.

Defending champion Costa Rica, the only unbeaten team at AFECAVOL Boys’ U19  

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 13, 2022.- Defending Champion Costa Rica is the only unbeaten team at the XIV Boys’ U19 Central American Championship of AFECAVOL after defeating Honduras 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-20) at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

Costa Rica stands with a perfect 3-0 win-loss record and 15 points. Honduras has 0-3.

Honduras surprised Costa Rica evening the scores on several occasions in the second set and recovered from an eight-point deficit (14-22) in the third.

Costa Rica led 35-24 in the attacking category, 9-2 in blocking and 2-1 in aces, committing 25 unforced errors against 29.

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Keylor Rodriguez of Costa Rica spikes against Honduras

Outside hitter Stanley Grant led Costa Rica with 12 points, joined by middle blocker Jeremy Venega who contributed with 9 points, as well as team captain David Cordoba and middle blocker Keylor Rodriguez with 8 tallies each.

Outside hitters Oscar Pineda and Jonathan Mendoza scored 8 points apiece for Honduras.

On Thursday Costa Rica (3-0) will play against Belize (2-1) and Honduras (0-3) goes against Guatemala (1-2).

Robertocarlo Argüello, head coach of Costa Rica: “The fans motivated Honduras. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and what we needed was to add points to keep a margin so they couldn’t get too close. The guys sustained well, but it was hard, they were pressured, and we made some adjustments to finish the game. Tomorrow, we have a difficult opponent (Belize), but we have our goal clear, and we will battle for it, we are going with all we have”.

Víctor Manuel Rodas, head coach of Honduras: “We improved in the second set by trying some changes in positions, today Leo Villegas played as opposite to help us with blocking, and it worked. Our best skill has been reception and today it visibly improved, we were able to stabilize our game. I hope this is the beginning of our improvement and we must continue forward”.

Nicaragua comes from behind to beat Belize in five sets

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 13, 2022.- Nicaragua came from behind to beat Belize 3-2 (15-25, 19-25, 25-23, 29-27, 15-13) at the XIV Boys’ U19 Central American Championship of AFECAVOL being played at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

Nicaragua improved their record 2-1 with a total of eight points; Belize dropped their record 2-1 and has nine points.

Nicaragua lost its outside hitter Evans Solís who suffered an injury on the head during the second set, but it wasn’t an obstacle to stop Belize’s strength. Before their dramatic win, Belize lost two match points in the fourth set (26-25 y 27-25), while Nicaragua failed two set points to reach the tie-break (24-23 y 25-24).

Niaragua’s blocking prevailed that of Belize 13-6, as well as service points 4-3, committing 48 unforced errors. Belize was superior in attacks 56-36 and committed a total of 50 errors.

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Nicaragua celebrates important win over Belize

Opposite hitter Víctor Bermudez led Nicaragua’s attack with 13 points from 12 kills and one block. Setter Cristhoper Castillo and middle blocker Edu Urbina added 11 points each.  

Outside hitter Eleazar Mejia of Belize led all scorers with 32 points, the most in the tournament. Outside hitter Malcolm Murillo and opposite hitter Preston Smith scored 11 points each.

On Wednesday Nicaragua (2-1) will play El Salvador (1-2) and Belize (2-1) will meet Costa Rica (2-0).

Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua: “My team is young, so they still commit errors on the net and that led us to reach five sets. My boys responded well, we came back from 0-2, the changes worked out well and that puts us in the fight. That’s why I say it’s one match at a time”.

Albert Humes, head coach of Belize: “I am proud of my guys, they worked hard. I think one of our biggest problems today were our errors at the run and service at the time that we needed; it also showed that we need more practice matches in this kind of situation because the guys got tense which caused them to be tentative and that gave Nicaragua the momentum to build”.

Guatemala scores first win at AFECAVOL U19

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 13, 2022.- Guatemala scored its first win at the XIV Boys’ U19 Central American Championship of AFECAVOL after defeating El Salvador 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-22) at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

Guatemala improved their record to 1-2, for a total of seven points and El Salvador has the same record but with six points.

Guatemala dominated the first set, but in the following two sets they needed great effort to come from behind after El Salvador’s fast response.

The Guatemalan team prevailed over El Salvador 33-30 in attacks, 7-3 in blocks and 5-3 in aces, while committing 22 errors against 30 from El Salvador.

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Juan Zelaya (ESA) and Adolfo Rivas (GUA)

Outside hitter Pedro Villatoro with 10 points, middle blocker Sergio Paz with 9 points and outside hitter Roberto Recinos with 8 points led Guatemala’s attacks.

Outside hitter Rafael Vargas and middle blocker Ricardo Alegria were El Salvador’s leading scorers with 9 and 8 points respectively. 

On the penultimate day of competition Guatemala (1-2) will face Honduras (0-2) and El Salvador (1-2) against Nicaragua (1-1).

Pedro Villatoro, top scorer of Guatemala: “we had a different mentality from the other two matches, we were determined to win 3-0 to add the necessary points to give us a chance to reach the podium. Our attitude was crucial, we were motivated”.  

Rafael Vargas, top scorer of Nicaragua: “We didn’t react despite being ahead in the last two sets. I believe we were overconfident, and we lost energy. We couldn´t stabilize our serves like we did against Honduras. We need to be more focused for the next two matches, put the ball in play and try to score”.

Solid victory of Nicaragua over Honduras

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 12, 2022.- Nicaragua earned a solid victory 3-0 (25-14, 25-8, 25-21) over Honduras at the XIV Boys’ U19 Central American Championship of AFECAVOL on Monday night at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

This was Nicaragua’s first win for a 1-1 record and five points, while Honduras has no victories 0-2.

In the third set, Honduras recovered from a 6-point deficit (13-19) but their effort was not enough to contain Nicaragua’s power.

Nicaragua was strong in attacks 35-10 and in serves 14-0, Honduras held a slim 5-4 advantage in blocks and committed one less error (22-28).

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Evans Solis of Nicaragua spikes against Honduras

Outside hitter Evans Solis of Nicaragua led all scorers with 25 points on 19 attacks, one block and 5 aces. Opposite hitter Victor Bermudez and setter Cristhoper Castillo contributed with 9 and 7 points respectively.

From Honduras, outside hitter Leonardo Villegas scored 6 points.

On Tuesday, Nicaragua (1-1) will face Belize (2-0) and Honduras (0-2) goes up against Costa Rica (2-0).

Cristopher García, captain of Nicaragua: “This victory was crucial for us, today we improved our attitude, we learned from yesterday’s loss. Today we were more confident”.

Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua: “The team needed to gain trust, overcoming the pressure of the tournament was difficult after losing yesterday; today the victory was necessary. Each game is a final and we aren’t out of battling for a medal”.