Costa Rica earns ticket to NORCECA third round of qualifiers
Oranjestad, Aruba, May 19, 2013 – Costa Rica scored a 25-22, 25-22, 19-25, 25-15 over hosts Aruba on Sunday night to advance to the third round of NORCECA qualifiers towards the 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship in Poland.
The NORCECA eighth-ranked Costa Ricans were the pre-tournament favorites and played to the level of their status winning their four matches, including two over the home side. The Central Americans join St Lucia as non-seeded teams who have earned tickets to next year’s final round of regional competitions.
Richard Smith had 19 points, including four blocks, as the offensive leader of Costa Rica. Jeffrey Calderon and Javier Alvarez added 15 and 11 points respectively. Aruba’s Eargenell De Cuba had a match-high 24 points while Angela Fransua finished with 15.
Costa Rica held a 16-10 margin in blocks and had a 3-2 edge in aces. The winners benefitted of 28 opponents’ errors while committing 18.
““Our blocking worked as we planned and I feel so happy about going to the third round,” Costa Rica coach Cesar Salas said. “We have to give credit to Aruba for their performance and for the excellent organization.”
“We came for the gold medal but the final match was of high level with Aruba playing a great match,” the Costa Rican Smith commented. “It was not easy because at the beginning we didn’t know very much about the opponents and took us a while to adjust. I am really thrilled.”
“I am satisfied with the second place,” Aruba coach John van der Lee said. “Winning against Curacao was great and we knew it was going to be very difficult to win against a team like Costa Rica.”
“We couldn’t come up with the gold medal but we did the effort and played with our heart,” De Cuba stated. “Now I am going to continue playing beach volleyball but I always will be available for my country. I also want to thank the fantastic fans for their support.”
In the match for third place, Curacao defeated Antigua & Barbuda in straight sets 25-22, 25-17, 25-19.
Once again Darwin Colina was the top scorer for Curacao with 15 points, including six blocks, while Jurcham Meulens contributed 11 tallies. James Jamarie had 8 points in the losing cause.
MVP: Richard Smith CRC