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NORCECA Beach action moves to Guatemala

The Gatorade Guatemala Beach Volleyball Tournament will take place at Campo Marte sport complex in Guatemala City
Guatemala City, Guatemala, April 30, 2014 – Fresh from the exciting action in the opener of the season at Grand Cayman, the 2014 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit moves now to Guatemala City, a traditional host of one of the legs of the regional event.

The seventh edition of the Gatorade Guatemala Beach Volleyball Tournament at Campo Marte, a sport complex located close to the downtown area of the Guatemalan capital, features some of the best beach volleyball players of the NORCECA region competing in the double-gender tournament next weekend.

Seventeen men’s pairs and sixteen women’s duos have been registered for the tournament. The host country will be represented by three teams per gender.

The USA-B team of Tealle Hunkus and Kimberly McGiven, winners in Grand Cayman last Sunday, will be going for a repeat on the dark sands of Campo Marte.
Their toughest obstacle in the women’s field is expected to be in the form of compatriots Heather Hughes and Christal Engle, who had to settle for the bronze in the opener of the season. 

The victory in Cayman Islands was the first for Hunkus/McGiven as a team but the second for Hunkus in the history of NORCECA Circuit as she won the last event of 2012 in Aruba playing with Summer Ross.

Another interesting participant in the women's field is Costa Rica’s Natalia Alfaro, who won five silver medals and six bronzes when she played alongside the now retired Ingrid Morales. Alfaro is currently playing with Karen Cope who is making the transition to the beach after a few seasons with the national volleyball team.

Cuba’s Sergio Gonzalez, one the most successful male player in the circuit with eight gold medals under his belt, figures to be among the main attractions in the weekend only that this time he will be partnering newcomer Nivaldo Díaz.

Casey Jennings, who makes a duo with Jeremy Casebeer in the USA-A team, won last year in Toluca combined with Stafford Slick. 

Simon Fecteau/James Battison of Canada-A and Cameron Wheelan/Michael Plantinga of Canada-B are teams that have been awarded in the past but none of them have visited the top step of the podium yet.

Men’s teams

Mitchel Daniel/Eargenell De Cuba (Aruba), Simon Fecteau/James Battison (Canada-A), Cameron Wheelan/Michael Plantinga (Canada-B), Diego Alpizar/Rooper Espinoza (Costa Rica), Sergio González/Nivaldo Díaz (Cuba), Carlos Escobar/David Vargas (El Salvador), Andy Leonardo/Erick Garrido (Guatemala-A), Erik Flores/Mark Alvarez (Guatemala-B), Julio Recinos/Luis García (Guatemala-C), Wilfredo Vega/Douglas Izaguirre (Honduras), Mario Barragán/Julio Manrique (Mexico),  Dany Lopez/Gerson Contreras (Nicaragua), Roberto Rodriguez/Erik Haddock (Puerto Rico), Joseph Clercent/Julian Bissette (St Lucia), Colin Bernard/Fabien Whitfield (Trinidad & Tobago), Casey Jennings/Jeremy Casebeer (United States-A), Derek Olson/Kevin McColloch (United States-B).

Women’s teams

Shari Matthews/Anicia Wood (Barbados), Victoria Cowley/Kerry Smit (Canada-A), Julie Gordon/Victoria Altomare (Canada-B), Karen Cope/Natalia Alfaro (Costa Rica), Leila Martínez/Lianma Flores (Cuba), Diana Romero/Marcela Ávalos (El Salvador-A), María Vargas/Kathya Vasquez (El Salvador-B), Nathalia Girón/Estefanie Bethancourt (Guatemala-A), Blanca Recinos/Lourdes Ramírez (Guatemala-B), María José Orellana/María Andrea Orellana (Guatemala-C), Gina Flores/Martha Euceda (Honduras), Diana Valdez/Stephanie Burnside (Mexico), Claudia Machado/Elia Torres (Nicaragua), Ayana Dyette/Nancy Joseph (Trinidad & Tobago), Heather Hughes/Christal Engle (United States-A), Tealle Hunkus/Kimbery McGiven (United States-B).

Past winners in Guatemala

Year Men    Women
2007     CUB Kindelan/Ramirez PUR Ramos/Ruiz
2008     MEX Virgen/Miramontes         MEX Candelas/García
2009     USA Stolfus/Medel         CUB Ballar/Sinal
2010     CUB Peña/González         CAN Zakrzewski/Rodríguez
2011     MEX Virgen/Miramontes         CAN Bansley/Maloney
2012     PUR Rodríguez/Guzmán         USA Kropp/Pavlik
2013     MEX Ontiveros/Virgen CAN MacTavish/Whitaker

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