MANAGUA, Nicaragua, September 10, 2023 – Nicaragua earned a thrilling five-set victory over Guatemala 3-2 (18-25, 25-20, 17-25, 25-14, 15-11) in the closing match of the fifth day of the XXII AFECAVOL Women’s Senior Central American Cup at the Alexis Arguello Sports Complex.
The home team, supported by hundreds of fans, rallied from a 1-2 set deficit to win the fourth set and in the fifth set, trailing 5-10, mounted a comeback with 8 consecutive points, clinching the triumph.
Lolette Rodríguez once again played an important role in Nicaragua’s victory scoring 20 points, including seven in the fourth set to revive Nicaragua’s hopes, and closing the fifth set with five points, giving them a better chance at a medal. Josafat Díaz contributed 13 points and Erika Calero added 10.
Andrea Mendizabal led Guatemala with 19 points, María Santa Cruz scored 16, and Aury Alvarez contributed 11.
Nicaragua dominated in attacks 53-48, but Guatemala performed better in blocks 8-6 and serves 11-6. Nicaragua scored 35 points from Guatemala’s errors and gave up 28.
On Monday, Guatemala will face Panama at 4:00 p.m., and Nicaragua will play against Honduras at 6:00 p.m.
René Quintana, coach of Nicaragua: “We knew that all the games in this round are tough; there are no small enemies here. But the good thing is that we achieved the victory, even when we were down by five points in the fifth set. The team knew how to do things, and all the credit goes to them. Our rookies have responded, and in the end, they did their job and fulfilled their role”.
Brisa Pérez, outside hitter of Nicaragua: “I’m very excited, very happy with this victory, with the adrenaline still at a hundred. I had the opportunity to come in, and thank God, I was able to do things right. I’m grateful to my coaches for the opportunity to be here”.
Andrea Mendizabal, middle blocker of Guatemala: “We’ve put in a lot of effort, even though we haven’t achieved the result we were pursuing, which we had back in Guatemala. Since yesterday’s game, we’ve been playing well, putting in our courage and heart, and that’s what matters. As my dad says, one team must win, and unfortunately, this time it wasn’t us, but the spirit and heart are always there”.