Belize City, August 8, 2018 - Costa Rica extended their 25 year reign of Central American women’s volleyball by winning the 20th Central American women’s volleyball championships at the new Civic Center in Belize City. Costa Rica won their 14th consecutive title by points, after they finished in a three-way tie with surprising teams of Belize and El Salvador: each with 4 wins, one loss at the conclusion of the tournament.
When all game statistics had been calculated, Costa Rica won the gold, Belize claimed the silver, and El Salvador took home the bronze. Belize has pulled off the amazing feat of rising from seventh place at the last tournament to Central American sub-champion, even handing the reigning champion a 3-1 defeat!
Members of the Belize Volleyball Association’s (BVA) executive committee presented individual awards to the best players and BVA president Allan Sharp presented the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award to Yuliana González of Costa Rica. She also won awards for Best Server and second Best Spiker.
Belize won four awards; Sherika Burton won awards for Best Spiker with 86 kills and Best Scorer with 96 points. Shantell Arnold was awarded Best Opposite, scoring 68 points: 48 spikes, 13 blocks and 7 serves. Karen Quan won Best Setter.
Josafat Díaz of Nicaragua was awarded Best Blocker with 18 kill blocks, Astrid González of Guatemala was awarded for second Best Blocker - 14 blocks, while Laura Quiñonez, also of Guatemala, won awards for Best Liberoand Best Digger. Kathya Vasquez of El Salvador was awarded Best Receiver.
Team trophies and individual medals were presented to the champions, sub-champion and third place winners. Congratulations Team Belize you have made your country extremely proud!
Belize rises over Guatemala 3-2 at 20th Central American women’s volleyball championships
The visitors did not flinch, as the opposite María García led their counterattack with 25 puntos, including 23 kills, a block and an ace to win the second set: 25-23. The Guatemalan offensive was on the rise as middle blocker Astrid González scored 15 points: 12 spikes and 3 blocks. Outside hitter Martha Guillermo scored 10 points: 8 spikes, 1 block and an ace to win the third set: 25-20.
The visitors now looked to close it off in the fourth set, but they counted without opposite Shantel Arnold, who led the Belize defense, scoring 16 points: 12 spikes and 4 blocks. Belice had two more players in double digits: middle blocker Tichelle Solis scored 11 points: 10 spikes and a block, and outside hitter Nelissa Ramírez also scored 11 points, including 8 spikes, a block and 2 aces, to tie the ball game 2-2 when the hosts won the fourth set: 25-23.
Belize’s teen phenom Fatoumata Camara scored 5 points, and middle blocker Kevanna Sebastian and setter Karen Quan each scored 2 points to seal the fifth set:15-13.
Belize had the advantage on aces served: 6-2 and gained 40 points by their opponents’ errors, even though they conceded 41 points by unforced errors. Both teams had 6 blocks each, and Guatemala had the advantage on spikes: 60 - 56. Belize’s coach Esmidio Limonta Muñoz was ecstatic as he declared, “The time for interviews is over, the girls’ victory says it all!