Belize triumph over Nicaragua in 19th Central American U21 Women’s Volleyball Tournament

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Belize beat Nicaragua three sets to nil on the first day of the 19th Central American U21 Women’s Volleyball Championship Tournament, while Honduras defeated El Salvador in 5 sets.

by Charles Gladen

BELIZE CITY, Tue 12 July 2022
On Tuesday, July 12, the first day of the 19th Central American U21 Women’s Volleyball Championship Tournament at the Belize Civic Center, the Belize U21 Women’s Volleyball Team defeated Nicaragua in three sets, 25-15, 25-19 and 25-23—a well-received victory for a nation that has grown too accustomed to defeats in sport.

Five Central American countries – Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua – are participating in the five-day regional tournament, hosted by Belize under the auspices of the Central American Volleyball Federation and which ends on Saturday July 16. Panama had refused to participate in the games, while Costa Rica withdrew moments before the start of the tournament.
Cuba’s head coach of the Belize Women’s U21 volleyball team, Jose Fontes, told AMANDALA in Spanish how he feels about coaching a Belize team.

His words, once translated, are as follows: “I am proud. This is a great opportunity for me to represent Belize, and I want to achieve a great result…I think Belize has a great attitude towards sports, especially volleyball. The players have [the] potential for jumping, and if the coaches improve them, Belize may have many opportunities for international results.

Before the start of the first game on Tuesday night, Fontes told us he thinks the girls will be ready for their first game as they have performed well over the past two weeks of training.

His words proved prophetic, as the Belize team entered their first two sets with strength and confidence, dominating the Nicaraguan women. However, in the third set they faltered somewhat and the Nicaraguan women’s team took the lead at the start of this final set.
The players of the Belize Women’s Volleyball Team, however, were able to regain their momentum and they won the final set.

Summarizing what happened, Fontes told AMANDALA: “…We warmed up really well. We played a very good first set with a very efficient service. We had a reaction from Nicaragua in the second set, but we kept turning around and we beat them. In the third set, our team missed a lot of serves and we were losing in the third set. But after that the team came in and beat Nicaragua in the last two serves. I am happy with the results. »

Belize Women’s Under-21 Volleyball Team Captain Sofia Solano said: “Of course we want to finish with as few sets as possible because we end up getting more points if we win. in [fewer] sets. So at that moment, I was thinking ‘Come on, guys; we have to finish this set’ and everyone just wants to be done and everyone just wants to finish it. And of course, naturally, everybody with those last two points that won the game, we were all thrilled – like we had that energy going through us, and I think the win really gave us some motivation to play stronger even [Thursday] and the following days for the continuation of this tournament.

Solano further expressed his gratitude for the support of the Belizean fans who attended Tuesday’s match.
“It makes a huge difference to see the fans there, you know. Having that physical support and hearing the fans cheering for you, especially when you’re in those tough times, it really gives you that boost,” she said.

On Thursday, Belize will face El Salvador.
Regarding this upcoming game, Solano commented: “When we got to the gym, we sat down and watched the game between Honduras and El Salvador. We all have an idea how they play [and] how much stamina they have, and I think our goal for this game is to focus particularly on our stamina and making sure we finish every set with a lot of points and let it spill away from us.

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