Managua, Nicaragua, November 27, 2004 - Just like two years ago and on the same stage, Costa Rica managed to give Nicaragua a lesson in women's Volleyball before 2,000 spectators at Polideportivo España in the final day of the preliminary round of the XIII Women’s Central America Cup.
Last night the Costa Ricans prevailed in three sets over the Nicaraguans (25-23, 25-23, 25-22) securing a berth against Guatemala in the final match and sending the host team to the dispute of the bronze with Honduras.
The surprising loss against Guatemala in the preliminary round left the "Nicas" with the rope around the neck with the obligation to beat their southern neighbours in three or four sets.
But Costa Rica had other things in mind and guided by the power of its main attackers in the crucial moments advanced to the gold medal match tonight.
Nicaragua was in the match in each set but never could get the extra strength or the break to enjoy the victory.
The extra was always on the "Ticas" side, above all with the attack of tall Johana Moore, Verania and Angela Willis, Adriana Chinchilla and a six that doesn’t seem to have many fissures.
"We played a good game but failed too much in our reception. Our libero Elisa Mendoza succumbed in the middle of the pressure and that hurt our chances," said Nicaraguan coach, Rene Quintana. "The injury suffered by our versatile Claudia Noguera in our first match was another factor."
Heidy Rostran was the best Nicaraguan player aided by Heidy Trana, Mireyines Tellez, Johanna Padilla and Berta Fierro. They fought every point with big effort but Costa Rica was better.
With the outcome of the match Nicaragua finished the preliminary round in third place with 2-2 record and with no other option but to play against Honduras (1-3).
In the other match of the day Guatemala defeated El Salvador in straight sets (25-17, 25-15, 25-15) good for the second place with a 3-1 mark.
In today’s action Nicaragua will play against Honduras at 5:00 pm and in the nightcap Costa Rica jumps out as heavy favourite against Guatemala in the summit duel.