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August 01
19:39 2018

The Belize Volleyball Association (BVA) will be hosting the 20th Central American Women’s Volleyball Championship at the Civic Center in Belize City beginning this Saturday, August 4 through to next Wednesday, August 8.

All the Central American countries, including Panama, will be participating. Honduras had already submitted its team roster to AFECAVOL for confirmation, but they withdrew and announced they would not be able to participate, because they could not get flights to Belize.

Team Belize has been training as a unit since they began their preparation for the Central American Games in Managua last December, and many of the players have been playing volleyball for 10 years or more. BVA president Allan Sharp introduced the team at a press briefing at the Civic Center conference room on Wednesday, August 1. The girls exuded confidence in their physical and mental preparation under the tutelage of Cuban coach Delio Arruebarrena, and they expressed their patriotic fervor to bring home the gold in front of their home fans.

Team captain Nelissa Ramirez will lead the attack along with our other big hitters Shantell Arnold, Sherika Burton and Maurissa Williams, supported by the defensive blocking of Kevanna Sebastian, Tichele Solis, Melanie Palacio, and Fatima Ramirez. Ayah Safa, Mya Musa and Jahshema Saunders will help receive, and Tisha Solis, Allyana Musa and Karen Quan will set the ball to renew the attack.

It’s a packed schedule, with all six teams playing every day: three games starting at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. It’s a single round robin format; and as host country, the Belize girls always play the last game starting at 7:30 p.m. They take on El Salvador, following a brief opening ceremony after the first two matches on Saturday. They face Panama on Sunday, and they tackle Nicaragua on Monday. The Belize girls face their toughest challenge when they take on the defending champions – Costa Rica on Tuesday night, and Wednesday night is a must-win when they take on Guatemala in the final game of the tournament.

Sharp also mentioned that hosting this tournament is costing the BVA a pretty penny: $228,000; as AFECAVOL sets certain standards for the accommodation and food which the host country must provide, as well as transportation, hydration for the teams at the games venue, security. He invited all Belize fans to come out and support our team, as the crowd support would be instrumental in helping our girls to victory.

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