Nicaragua wins five-set battle against Guatemala

Tegucigalpa, Honduras; July 28, 2022.- Nicaragua fought to win 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 15-11) against a combative Guatemala in the second match of the first day of the V Central American Championship Women’s Afecavol U23.

Guatemala, which comes from being champion in the U21 category with the most players, began dominant in all sets, but the Nicaraguans managed to overcome that disadvantage to prevail thanks to the performance of Gilmary Smith with 17 points, 16 from Maria Belén Arcia and 13 from Massiel Brenes.

Meanwhile, Guatemala had its captain Naomi Monney with 23 points, while her teammate Andrea Mendizabal contributed 15 units.

Nicaragua was better 10-8 in serves, but was outscored 11-8 in blocks and 50-49 in spikes, with 41 errors from Guatemala to 34 from the winners.

Maria Santa Cruz GUA against Massiel Brenes y Francesca Medrano NCA

María Belén Arcia, captain of Nicaragua: “We are very happy to have won, it was a very difficult game, Guatemala is a team that defends a lot, but we were always there, animated, showing the claw and attitude of fighting all the way until the end. We bonded as a team and worked well as a team.”

Claudia Noguera, coach of Nicaragua: “Guatemala was a very difficult team, with most of the players who were champions in the sub 21 category, but I think we have a good level, the Nicaraguan team showed grit, a lot of concentration and dedication in the game. We were down and we knew how to swim against the current, but it can’t continue, because we can’t let the rival take much of the lead”.

Naomi Monney, captain of Guatemala: “We played a good game, we gave everything until the last point, but I think we could have given more to win that game. We are not going to give up, we will go with everything in the next matches and if we have to go to five sets in all of them, then we will play them and give everything on the court”.

William Fernández, coach of Guatemala: “This is what was expected of the tournament, a very close match, congratulations to Nicaragua who knew how to close the game correctly today and to our team who gave their best effort. We know that the event would be very difficult because our team is very young, but that is not justification, Nicaragua beat us very well”.

Nicaragua will play this Friday at 2:00 p.m. against Panama, and Guatemala at 7:00 p.m. Honduras are measured.