Mal Pais, Costa Rica, February 12, 2012 – Hosts Costa Rica finished top of the NORCECA Women’s Beach Volleyball Continental Cup inter zonal tournament following a 4-0 victory over El Salvador on Sunday at Playa Carmen while Guatemala edged Nicaragua in a golden set in the battle for third place.
Costa Rica's Marianela Alfaro and Ivette Alas celebrate as their country finished first in front of their home fans
However, all four teams have qualified for the finals where they will battle the four qualifiers from the Central Zone – Cuba, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico – for a London 2012 Olympic Games berth. The tournament will be held in Nayarit, Mexico from June 19 to 23.
Ivette Alas and Mariana Alfaro of Costa Rica “B” won their two matches, which both stretched to three sets. They first edged Diana Romero and Marcela Avalos of El Salvador “A” 21-23, 21-8, 15-13 before seeing off Nadia Soler and Laura Molina of El Salvador “B” 21-16, 13-21, 15-13.
In the second match of the series, Ingrid Morales and Natalia Alfaro of Costa Rica “A” beat Soler/Molina 21-19, 21-13 and also dispatched Romero/Avalos in a fourth match 21-10, 21-14.
In the series for the third place, Guatemala edged Nicaragua 15-9 in a “golden set”, with Susana Alvarado and Lourdes Ramírez of Guatemala “A” beating a combined Nicaraguan tandem of Elia Torrez and Lolette Rodriguez.
Amalia Hernández and Rodríguez of Nicaragua “A” opened with a 21-15, 21-12 victory over Rut Gomez and Stefany Bolaños of Guatemala “B” and Alvarado/Ramirez tied the series by defeating Torrez/Swan Mendoza of Nicaragua “B” 21-17, 21-17.
Alvarado/Ramirez defeated Hernández/Rodríguez 21-17, 21-12 and the series was tied once again when Torrez/Mendoza beat Gomez/Bolaños 21-11, 21-15 to force the “golden set.”
“It was a very well organized event and we are leaving Costa Rica with a positive impression,” Arnaldo Sanchez, technical director said. “We hope they can continue hosting international events and become a regular stop in our NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit.”
Costa Rica v El Salvador
CRC-B d. ESA-A 2-1 (21-23, 21-8, 15-13), CRC-A d. ESA-B 2-0 (21-19, 21-13), CRC-B d. ESA-B 2-1 (21-16, 13-21, 15-12),
Nicaragua v Guatemala
NCA-A d. GUA-B 2-0 (21-15, 21-12), GUA-A d. NCA-B 2-0 (21-17, 21-17), GUA-B d. NCA-B 2-0 (21-11, 21-15), GUA-A d. NCA-A 2-0 (21-17, 21-12). GS: GUA-A d. NCA (15-9).