Costa Rica struggles to overcome El Salvador in four sets

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, September 8, 2023 – Costa Rica had to use its best weapons to defeat El Salvador 3-1 (27-29, 25-18, 25-22, 25-19) and maintain its undefeated record in three matches at the XXII AFECAVOL Women’s Senior Central American Cup.

Led by an effective Marcela Araya with 22 points, Costa Rica bounced back after losing the first set to a resilient Salvadoran team that showed great defense.

For the rest of the match, Araya was joined by Tamara Espinoza and Tatiana Sayles, who scored 14 and 10 points respectively, to lead Costa Rica 54-37 in attacks and 9-3 in blocks, five of them by María Alfaro.

For El Salvador, Gabriela Funes scored 14 points, and María Jiménez Hunter added 10. El Salvador was better in service 6-4 but conceded 35 points on errors, while Costa Rica committed 42.

On Saturday, Costa Rica (3-0) plays against Guatemala (0-3) at 1:30 p.m., and El Salvador (1-2) will face Nicaragua (1-1) at 6:30 p.m.



Tamara Espinoza, standout player for Costa Rica: “I’m very happy to contribute to my team; we are quite united. All the effort is not luck, it’s not a coincidence; it’s pure determination and effort that we’ve given throughout the year. I hope to keep improving for my team and because of my team. We are fortunate to have several players who, no matter what, will contribute on the court”.

Pablo Acuña, coach of Costa Rica: “The good thing about a team is that we all complement each other, and everyone adds to the team, but it was a very difficult match. El Salvador played very well; they taught us not to enter passively against any opponent. If there was something we had to learn today, it is very clear to us”.

Carmen Chávez, libero of El Salvador: “We always play with our hearts; every game we go in with the expectation of winning it. We put in the effort to obtain each victory, and that leads us to improve our attitude and show determination. We all contribute together, and each one does what we must do on the court. For us, losing 1-3 doesn’t disappoint us that much because Costa Rica is a great rival, and we hadn’t won a set against them in a long time”.