David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 30, 2023 – Nicaragua defeated Belize 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-20) and won the Silver Medal at the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship at the La Basita Sports Center in David.
With the victory in straight sets, Nicaragua finished the event with a 4-2 record and 21 points. Costa Rica, which had already completed all its games a day earlier, benefited from Nicaragua’s victory to take home the bronze medal with a 3-3 record and 19 points. Belize finished in fourth place, also with a record 3-3 but with 17 points.
After completely dominating the first set, Nicaragua recovered from a three-point deficit (21-24) in the second set to win it 26-24. In the third set, despite Belize’s resistance, Nicaragua managed to close it with a victory in straight sets.
Evans Solís led Nicaragua with 17 points, including 14 on attacks, two on blocks, and one ace. Lennin Gómez added 14 points, and Denis Espinoza contributed 10. For Belize, Ernest Broaster scored 12 points.
Nicaragua outperformed Belize in attacks 40-34, in blocks 8-3, and 4-2 in service points, capitalizing on Belize’s 24 unforced errors compared to 18.
Jorge Mena, coach of Nicaragua: “We knew that this match was do or die. My players were focused and fought hard, and we worked with them psychologically. We made some changes with the setter (Victor Cruz) that worked for us, as did Denis Espinoza, who started today. As always, there are setbacks, injured players, or injuries on the first day of the tournament that made us change the game plan, but that’s how it goes”.
Evans Solís, top scorer of Nicaragua: “We feel super proud after securing this victory. We came to the tournament with different expectations, but second place is very acceptable because we knew the tournament would be tough. And this match against Belize was also challenging because we had several five-set matches, and we were a bit tired. The fighting spirit and the desire to win helped us. It also holds a special meaning for me because my uncle passed away two years ago, and I dedicate this victory to him”.