Costa Rica scores first victory defeating Dominican Republic

PONCE, Puerto Rico, May 15, 2024. – Costa Rica notched its first victory in the Boys U19  NORCECA Championship after defeating Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-22, 29-27, 22-25, 25-19) at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Costa Rica improved its record to 1-1 in group B, Dominican Republic has the same record. On the last day of the preliminary round, Costa Rica will face Guatemala and the Dominican Republic will play against Puerto Rico.

The second and third placed teams will play in the quarterfinal round and the group winner moves into semifinals.

Costa Rica took an early lead in every set. In the second set, Dominican Republic recovered from a five-point deficit (7-12) for a dramatic 29-27 finish for the Central Americans. The Dominicans extended the match to a fourth set, but Costa Rica gained more confidence to secure the victory.

The match was a battle between the top scorers so far in the tournament, Britton and Stanley from the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica respectively.

Malik Britton DOM

Malik Britton scored an impressive 41 points, a record in this category, with 39 attacks and two blocks; while Stanley Grant capitalized on 30 points from 26 attacks, one block, and three service points.

Middle blocker Josué Bolaños and opposite hitter Ignacio Sánchez also contributed to Costa Rica’s victory with 11 and 10 points respectively. Meanwhile, outside hitter Melvin De Jesús contributed 13 points for the Dominican Republic.

Costa Rica performed better in service points, leading 6-4, and committed fewer errors, 18-28. The Dominican Republic led in attacks, 61-55, and in blocks, 8-7.

Roberto Carlo Argüello, Head Coach of Costa Rica: “Dominican Republic has a very good opposite hitter, and they are a strong team. The plan was to put pressure on the serve so that the ball would be separated from the net, so it would be uncomfortable for them to attack over it; the boys followed the plan. We struggled in the third set due to anxiety, but we managed to control it in the fourth to lead by a difference of 3 or 4 points”.

Francisco Lerebours, Head Coach of the Dominican Republic: “My team is young and therefore inconsistent in attacking, which complicates our games. We are learning to score consecutive points and to be able to pull away on the scoreboard. Our reception failed us”.