MANAGUA, Nicaragua, September 7, 2023 – Costa Rica prevailed over Nicaragua 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 25-16, 25-23) to secure their second victory in the XXII AFECAVOL Women’s Senior Central American Cup.
In a highly significant match to reach the top spot in the tournament and a rivalry from many years, both teams came out determined, but it was Costa Rica who took the first step by gaining an advantage thanks to their excellent serving and blocking, especially against Nicaragua’s outside hitters.
Costa Rica was better in blocking with an 8-2 advantage, while Nicaragua took the lead in attacks with 51-48. They tied in 5 blocking points, but Nicaragua conceded 30 points on unforced errors, compared to 26 from Costa Rica.
Opposite hitter Tatiana Sayles led Costa Rica with 19 points, including 15 attacks, three blocks, and one ace, while Marcela Araya contributed 15 points, including 14 attacks and one block. For Nicaragua, Lolette Rodríguez scored 14 points, with 12 attacks, one block, and one ace, joined by Juny Aguilera with 13 points, including 12 attacks and one direct serve.
On Friday, Costa Rica will face El Salvador at 4:00 p.m., and Nicaragua has a break.
Pablo Acuña, coach of Costa Rica: “We knew Nicaragua wanted the victory just like us; the matches are always very tough. This game felt like a five-setter because it was so intense. They came out to give it their all, but we also have experience, determination, and the tactical plan to stand our ground”.
Tatiana Sayles, top scorer of Costa Rica: “All games are important, but this one is even more so because Nicaragua thrives when they play at home, their fans support them a lot, and they are very tenacious. We wanted to come and give our best, and we achieved this crucial win”.
René Quintana, coach of Nicaragua: “I am proud of the girls’ efforts. Sometimes, the winner isn’t necessarily the one who plays better or does things better, but the one who is luckier, and today, Costa Rica had luck on their side”.