Nicaragua comes from behind to beat Belize in five sets

SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 13, 2022.- Nicaragua came from behind to beat Belize 3-2 (15-25, 19-25, 25-23, 29-27, 15-13) at the XIV Boys’ U19 Central American Championship of AFECAVOL being played at the Santa Rosa de Copan Gymnasium.

Nicaragua improved their record 2-1 with a total of eight points; Belize dropped their record 2-1 and has nine points.

Nicaragua lost its outside hitter Evans Solís who suffered an injury on the head during the second set, but it wasn’t an obstacle to stop Belize’s strength. Before their dramatic win, Belize lost two match points in the fourth set (26-25 y 27-25), while Nicaragua failed two set points to reach the tie-break (24-23 y 25-24).

Niaragua’s blocking prevailed that of Belize 13-6, as well as service points 4-3, committing 48 unforced errors. Belize was superior in attacks 56-36 and committed a total of 50 errors.

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Nicaragua celebrates important win over Belize

Opposite hitter Víctor Bermudez led Nicaragua’s attack with 13 points from 12 kills and one block. Setter Cristhoper Castillo and middle blocker Edu Urbina added 11 points each.  

Outside hitter Eleazar Mejia of Belize led all scorers with 32 points, the most in the tournament. Outside hitter Malcolm Murillo and opposite hitter Preston Smith scored 11 points each.

On Wednesday Nicaragua (2-1) will play El Salvador (1-2) and Belize (2-1) will meet Costa Rica (2-0).

Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua: “My team is young, so they still commit errors on the net and that led us to reach five sets. My boys responded well, we came back from 0-2, the changes worked out well and that puts us in the fight. That’s why I say it’s one match at a time”.

Albert Humes, head coach of Belize: “I am proud of my guys, they worked hard. I think one of our biggest problems today were our errors at the run and service at the time that we needed; it also showed that we need more practice matches in this kind of situation because the guys got tense which caused them to be tentative and that gave Nicaragua the momentum to build”.