Costa Rica defeats Belize to go for fifth place  

NOGALES, Mexico, May 27, 2023.- Costa Rica will go for fifth place of the U21 Women’s NORCECA Pan American Cup after defeating Belize in straight sets (25-20, 25-17, 25-20) on Saturday in Nogales, Mexico.

This was Costa Rica´s second tournament win, in the preliminaries they beat Guatemala and on Sunday they will battle against Puerto Rico for fifth place, while Belize takes on Guatemala for seventh.

Costa Rica topped Belize in attacks (38-30), in blocks (8-5) and in aces (6-3). Costa Rica committed 19 unforced errors against 23 from Belize.

Opposite and team captain Angelica Rodriguez led Costa Rica scoring 11 points from 9 kills, one block and one ace. Outside hitter María Torres and middle blocker Nhya Barley tallied 8 and 6 points respectively.

Belizean outside hitter Khaya Gordon led all scorers with 14 points on 10 kills, two blocks and two aces and outside hitter Gareth Bruce added 10 points all on kills.

Costa Rica celebrates defeating Belize

María Torres, outside hitter of Costa Rica: “For moments we lost focus and Belize got closer, we needed to adjust again to earn the victory. When we are focused in the game, no one can get us out of our system, we battle everything, we defend. Yesterday we got in the system because the match was quicker not like today’s that we had difficulties”.

Nhya Barley, middle blocker of Costa Rica: “Tomorrow we won’t stop battling until the last points against Puerto Rico, we want that fifth place”.

Gareth Bruce, outside hitter of Belize: “We lacked focus, we are a strong team and that is something we need to improve. For tomorrow’s last performance we need to be better in blocking and defense. Playing at this game level has been a new experience for the team and we need to play with the will to fight”.