Daniel Ralón is the MVP of the Under 23 in AFECAVOL

David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 30, 2023 – Setter Daniel Ralón was declared the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the VI AFECAVOL Men’s Under 23 Central American Championship, which concluded Saturday at the La Basita Sports Center in David.

Ralón also won the award for the Best Setter of the tournament and was a key piece in Guatemala’s  fifth gold medal out of a total of six editions of this tournament. Thanks to his game vision and composure in facing challenges, he managed the offensive plays well with José Pablo Pérez, Jason Hernández, Javier Lucero, Carlos Caballeros, and Leonardo Molina.

In addition to Ralón, his teammate Jason Hernández was awarded Second Best Blocker.

Daniel Ralon of Guatemala MVP AFECAVOL U23

Nicaragua received five individual awards. Jordan Carcache took home the honors for Best Defense, Best Reception, and Best Libero; Evans Solís received the award for Best Server, and Rafael Hernández was named Best First Blocker.

For Belize, Kaelen Ingram was the Best Opposite and the Best First Spiker was Juan Delgado from Costa Rica.

The Second Best Spiker was handed to Gherson Ortiz of Panama, who was also the Best Scorer with 137 points, including a record of 39 points in a single match, achieved against El Salvador on the last day of the event.

The previous record for the highest total points in a game belonged to Bryton Codd of Belize, with 29 points achieved on July 31, 2016. José Pablo Pérez of Guatemala broke the record in this tournament with 30 points against Nicaragua, and then Gherson Ortiz achieved 32 points also against Nicaragua and closed with 39 points against El Salvador.

Guatemala Undefeated Champion after beating Honduras

David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 30, 2023 – Guatemala defeated Honduras 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-12) to finish undefeated with six victories at the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central Championship at the La Basita Sports Center in David.

Guatemala’s gold medal was decorated by their undefeated performance in the tournament, overcoming tough matches, especially against Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Belize, in which they came from behind with courage.

José Pablo Pérez confirmed his effectiveness scoring 16 points in the victory over Honduras. Jason Hernández led in blocks with four points, and Daniel Ralón had three direct service points. Jonathan Mendoza was the best for Honduras with six points.

Guatemala led in attacks 33-19, blocks 11-3, and services 5-4, and committed fewer unforced errors than Honduras (20-26).



José Pablo Pérez, Guatemala’s top scorer: “We feel good because we reached our goal. It was a tough championship; the teams were evenly matched. Attitude and staying united were the key to success. It was quite exhausting and stressful for me. On the day we got here, we had to play, and we weren’t yet in sync. But gradually, we came together, and everything worked out well”.

Josué González, Guatemala’s libero: “Sometimes defense doesn’t get much attention. Thanks for the opportunity. At my young age of 16, I’m very happy to have played a good role with the U23 national team. I had previously played in a U19 Pan American Championship, and thanks to the coaches, they gave me this opportunity. I also thank my teammates who supported me to keep going and lower my head. I dedicate this victory to my parents and my great-grandparents who passed away this year”.

Panama closes with a 3-2 win over El Salvador

David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 30, 2023 – Panama closed with an exciting victory over El Salvador 3-2 (15-25, 25-22, 27-29, 26-24, 15-11) at the VI AFECAVOL Men’s Under-23 Central American Championship, which ended this Saturday at La Basita Sports Center in David.

In a match that lasted over two and a half hours (2:36), with both teams trying to secure their position in the middle of the standings, Panama managed to prevail in five sets with the support of their fans and the outstanding performance of Gherson Ortiz, who set a Central American record with 38 points.

Ortiz scored 34 points in attack and four in blocking, accompanied by Victor Perez with 16 points and Victor Arauz with 13. For El Salvador, Julio Hunter scored 21 points, and Abner Cano contributed 19.

Panama was superior in attack 67-55 and in blocking 12-10. El Salvador had a 5-2 advantage in serves and committed fewer unforced errors (21-41).

Panama concluded the event with a record of three wins and three losses, the same as Costa Rica and Belize, but with 11 points. El Salvador finished 2-4 , also with 11 points.


Nicaragua defeats Belize 3-0 and wins the Silver Medal

David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 30, 2023 – Nicaragua defeated Belize 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-20) and won the Silver Medal at the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship at the La Basita Sports Center in David.

With the victory in straight sets, Nicaragua finished the event with a 4-2 record and 21 points. Costa Rica, which had already completed all its games a day earlier, benefited from Nicaragua’s victory to take home the bronze medal with a 3-3 record and 19 points. Belize finished in fourth place, also with a record 3-3 but with 17 points.

After completely dominating the first set, Nicaragua recovered from a three-point deficit (21-24) in the second set to win it 26-24. In the third set, despite Belize’s resistance, Nicaragua managed to close it with a victory in straight sets.

Evans Solís led Nicaragua with 17 points, including 14 on attacks, two on blocks, and one ace. Lennin Gómez added 14 points, and Denis Espinoza contributed 10. For Belize, Ernest Broaster scored 12 points.

Nicaragua outperformed Belize in attacks 40-34, in blocks 8-3, and 4-2 in service points, capitalizing on Belize’s 24 unforced errors compared to 18.



Jorge Mena, coach of Nicaragua: “We knew that this match was do or die. My players were focused and fought hard, and we worked with them psychologically. We made some changes with the setter (Victor Cruz) that worked for us, as did Denis Espinoza, who started today. As always, there are setbacks, injured players, or injuries on the first day of the tournament that made us change the game plan, but that’s how it goes”.

Evans Solís, top scorer of Nicaragua: “We feel super proud after securing this victory. We came to the tournament with different expectations, but second place is very acceptable because we knew the tournament would be tough. And this match against Belize was also challenging because we had several five-set matches, and we were a bit tired. The fighting spirit and the desire to win helped us. It also holds a special meaning for me because my uncle passed away two years ago, and I dedicate this victory to him”. 

Canada wins battle of five-sets to Netherlands and USA sweeps Egypt at Olympic Qualifier

September 30, 2023.- Canada came out on the winning side of a five-set battle with Netherlands and United States beat Egypt on opening day at the FIVB Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament.

Matches are Live on VolleyballWorld.tv.

Canada came out of the winning the end 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-12) against the Netherlands in Pool C at Xi’an, China.

Netherlands came out swinging hard, leading in attack points (69-57), but also gave up more points to errors (34-25). Canada led in blocking (13-5) and service aces (8-3).

Dutch star opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz led the attack, with 29 points; followed by Maarten Van Garderen with 19. For Canada, it was more of team effort, Arthur Szwarc (19 points – including 2 blocks), Stephen Maar (18 points total, with 2 blocks and an ace) and Eric Loeppky (15 total, with a block and an ace).

Canada’s next opponent is Argentina who earlier mastered a 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-19) win against  Mexico. Argentina held a 48-29 advantage in kills, 13-3 in blocks and both teams scored three points on aces. Diego González was Mexico’s best scorer with 11 points.

Mexico will face Netherlands in their second outing.

United States against Egypt

In Pool B United States scored a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-19) victory over Egypt, leading 40-29 in attacking points, 5-4 in blocks and 8-2 in service aces.

Torey Defalco led all scorers with 17 points (11 kills, 2 blocks, 4 aces), Matt Anderson scored 13 points (11 kills, 2 aces) and Aaron Russell added 11 points (10 kills, one block).

United States will play next against Finland, in Tokyo.

Follow the tournament at Volleyball Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Guatemala, five-time champion at AFECAVOL Men’s Under-23

David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 29, 2023 – Guatemala defeated Panama 3-1 (25-16, 20-25, 25-17, 25-17) and won its fifth title in the AFECAVOL Central American Men’s Championships with still one match left in the sixth edition of the tournament.

Guatemala has only stumbled once in the six editions of Age-group, which was last year against Nicaragua. Even though they faced tough matches this year, they showed courage to earn victories in games that seemed lost.

With a strong defense that allowed setter Daniel Ralón to distribute the ball effectively to his attackers, Guatemala forged their crown and put the final gem in the fourth set with a convincing 25-17.

José Pablo Pérez was once again the leading attacker for Guatemala with 22 points, and Carlos Caballeros contributed 11. Gherson Ortiz was the top scorer for Panama with 27 points, and Denzel Arboine added 12.

Guatemala had led 50-48 in attacks, 7-5 in blocks and 7-3 in aces, while committing 19 unforced errors compared to Panama’s 31.



Reider Lucas, coach of Guatemala: “This is a very interesting competition; in every  country, we have very talented athletes, and they demand that we come well-prepared. This is a competitive tournament, not just participative, and it helps us continue to improve the level of play. In fact, this category is the foundation of the senior national teams. It is played at a high level and is very demanding, with intense rivalry in Central America. We have a bright future; that’s why we give the younger players the opportunity  to take on responsibility”.

Javier Lucero, captain of Guatemala: “We dedicate the first photo to our physiotherapist who always accompanies us, for the work he does with us, but this time he couldn’t be here. We are very happy with the result; that’s what we came here for, to be champions, and we continue to collect more gold medals for Guatemala and raise its name high”.

Nicaragua battles to defeat Honduras

David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 29, 2023 – Nicaragua battled to defeat Honduras 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20) and reached three wins with two losses at the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship at Centro Deportivo La Basita.

Honduras, which has no victories in this tournament, started by winning the first set due to Nicaragua’s passiveness, who couldn’t respond. Leonardo Villegas of Honduras scored 11 points in that first set.

Nicaragua managed to recover to lock the win in four sets but struggled to overcome  Honduras’ persistent offense.

Lenín Gómez and Josué Blandón led Nicaragua with 15 points each. Leonardo Villegas from Honduras led all scorers with 28 points, and his teammate Javier Díaz added 15 points.

Nicaragua scored 38 points on Honduras’ unforced errors, while Honduras held a 52-50 advantage in attacks, 10-7 in blocks, and 5-1 in aces. Nicaragua gave away 19 points on  errors.



Jorge Mena, coach of Nicaragua: “Now, everything is getting complicated for us because we should have won in three sets. The tournament is becoming challenging for us due to our setters (one of the starters got injured before the tournament), and we had to use an opposite player to secure the match, and we did it”.

“We don’t see tomorrow’s game (against Belize) as difficult or impossible. We must bring out the best from the entire team to try to defeat Belize and have a chance at the medal, but it will be tough. My team knows that tomorrow is do or die, and it will depend on the attitude we bring to the game”.

Costa Rica closes with victory against El Salvador

David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 29, 2023 – Costa Rica concluded the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship defeating El Salvador 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-19) on the penultimate day of the event at Centro Deportivo La Basita.

Costa Rica finished the tournament with three wins and three losses, awaiting the results of the other teams to determine their final position. El Salvador has a record of 2-3 and will play against Panama on Saturday at 7:30 PM (Panama time).

Yulius Brown finished strong with 17 points, Juan Diego Delgado with 13, and Andru Jones with 12 for Costa Rica. Abner Cano of El Salvador was the top scorer of the match with 19 points.

Costa Rica held a 41-38 advantage in the attacks and led El Salvador by a significant 12-2  margin in blocks, with four effective blocks from Alessandro Signini and three from Jones. Additionally, Costa Rica had a 2-1 advantage in serves. El Salvador committed 20 unforced errors compared to 14 by the winners.



Johan Morales, coach of Costa Rica: “Obviously, I would have liked to finish in the top three. Now, I must wait for the results, but I am very happy with the boys. This is a new process that is just beginning. It’s the first time I have a junior national team, and I am very proud of them. In the end, we closed as we had to. We had the opportunity to beat Nicaragua and Guatemala, but these are the things that come with experience, like Guatemala has, they know how to finish”.

“That’s what we are looking for in Costa Rica, to have that experience against high-level teams because in Central America, we are very evenly matched in men’s volleyball. I’m going back home, maybe not happy, but content because we have grown with these new players.”

Belize with strong victory over Honduras 

David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 28, 2023 – Belize had no trouble defeating Honduras 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-13) and reach three victories at the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship at La Basita Sports Center. 

Belize controlled every skill of the game, with a 40-16 advantage in attacks, 9-2 in blocks, and 4-3 in service points. Belize committed 21 unforced errors, one less than Honduras (22). 

Kaelen Ingram with 15 points (11 attacks, 4 blocks), and Ernest Broaster with 12 points (9 attacks, one block, 3 aces) were the top scorers for Belize. Jonathan Meza scored 8 points for Honduras. 

Belize has a rest day on Friday, while Honduras will face Nicaragua at 5:00 p.m. (Panama time) on the penultimate day of the tournament. 



Kaelen Ingram, top scorer of Belize: “It feels really good to get this victory. We came in with a mindset that we had to win today, but I think the execution was much better. We came in and wanted it to finish and be able to leave. We also have many new players, and they had the opportunity to be on the court, and that was something great to encourage them and for them to be successful”. 

Thomas Garbutt, outside hitter of Belize: “I simply went in, did what I can do for the team, and then the performance was good. We achieved one more victory. I always do my job, train, but we have taller guys on the team. Now I finally proved to myself that I can. I’ve been in the United States for two years and didn’t train as much with the other guys, but I think I could contribute something today. The game was amazing”.

Guatemala maintains unbeaten record by defeating Costa Rica 3-1

David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 28, 2023 – Guatemala (4-0) continues its dominant performance after defeating Costa Rica 3-1 (22-25, 28-26, 25-16, 25-21) on day five of the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship at La Basita Sports Center.

After losing the first set, Guatemala responded in the second by focusing on their defense, allowing them to recover from a four-point deficit (16-20) and then a two-point deficit (20-22) to close with a dramatic 28-26 and tie the match.

In the third and fourth sets, Costa Rica maintained the pressure, but setter Daniel Ralón distributed Guatemala’s attack between Carlos Caballeros and Yefeson Zavala, who each finished with 16 points, Jason Hernández with 15, and Leonardo Molina with 14.

For Costa Rica, Juan Diego Delgado scored 18 points, and Yulius Brown finished with 11.

Guatemala led in attacks 69-47 and in blocks 8-5. Costa Rica had a slim advantage in service points 4-3 but gave away 32 unforced errors compared to Guatemala’s 20.

Costa Rica plays against El Salvador on Friday at 2:30 p.m. (Panama time), and Guatemala faces Panama at 7:30 p.m.



Leonardo Molina, middle blocker of Guatemala: “It was difficult for us to adapt and find our rhythm, but once we started, we didn’t stop, and we managed to improve. The good thing is that we are more than a team; we are a family because we have a strong friendship, and that helps us. If someone can’t solve a situation, the other steps in and does it. Attitude was crucial today; we didn’t give up, and that helped us”.

Carlos Caballeros, opposite hitter of Guatemala: “I’m happy to contribute to the team and reach our goal. There are two important matches left, and we will try to do our best. I feel that we are a team that knows what we’re here for, and each one tries to do their best. Today, we had a good attitude, and that was important”.