Costa Rica wins Central American battle to Guatemala

NOGALES, Mexico, May 25, 2023.- Costa Rica won the Central American battle to Guatemala 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-23) at the U21 Women’s NORCECA Pan American Cup in Nogales, Mexico.

Costa Rica is now 1-1 in pool B and is one step closer to progress into the quarterfinals; Guatemala is 0-2.

Costa Rica came from behind in the first two sets and commanded the third set, but Guatemala battled up to the end.

The winners led in kills 38-32 and in aces 8-5, while Guatemala held a slim 5-4 margin in blocks. Costa Rica scored on 25 opponent errors and handed out 21.

Opposite and team captain Angelica Rodriguez led Costa Rica with a match-high of 15 points on 10 kills, one block and four aces. Middle blockers Danna Leon and Nhya Barley contributed with 9 and 8 points respectively.

Three players led Guatemala with double-figures, outside hitter Naomi Monney with 13 points (12 kills, one block), outside hitter Maria Santa Cruz with 10 points (9 kills, one block) and middle blocker Andrea Mendizabal also with 10 points (7 kills, 2 blocks, one ace).

On Friday Costa Rica closes the preliminary round against the United States and Guatemala against the Dominican Republic.  

Costa Rican MB Nhya Barley (13) and Guatemala’s setter Jimena Castellanos (5) battleing the ball over the net.

Angélica Rodríguez, captain of Costa Rica: “It was a tough match, however we worked together and mostly depended on a great attitude, we were synchronized. We were solid coming from behind to take the win”.

Ana Granados, captain of Guatemala: “We were prepared to give more, we are the current Central American champions and we had everything to do so, it was a matter of mentality. We need more attitude tomorrow because we have gained experience with yesterdays and today’s matches”.

Edivaldo Bonilla, head coach of Costa Rica: “I believe we committed too many errors, my team lacked concentration during most of the game, under pressure and we should have been more consistent. We must give a plus for the next round and the team must grow mentally, the passing must be sharper and take advantage of the opportunities to keep on advancing. We will face the United States seriously and smart”.