Breaking News


August 08
11:00 2018

The roof was blown off the packed to capacity Civic Center last night when Team Belize won a nail-biter with Guatemala to secure the Silber medals at the 20th Central American women’s volleyball championships.

The Belize girls clinched their place on the medal podium with their fourth win: 3-2 over Guatemala (25-23, 23-25, 20-25, 25-23,15-13) in the final match on Wednesday night. Outside hitter Sherika Burton, the Best Scorer of the tournament, led the Belize offensive with 20pts: hammering 19 kills at the net, and adding a block and serving an ace to win the first set 25-23.

The Guatemalan girls had already lost two matches and only won two, and were not looking to go home empty-handed; they surged ahead taking the next two sets: 25-23, 20-25. Belize’s defense was working hard as Sherika dug up 15 saves and Jahsehma Saunders also had nine digs and 12 good receptions, while Karen Quan had five successful sets.

Guatemala was already looking to put it to bed in the fourth set when Belize’s Best Opposite – Shantel Arnold led their counterattack with 16 points: 12 kills and 4 blocks. Middle blocker Tichelle Solis and outside hitter Nelissa Ramirez both scored 11 points; Solis hammering 10 kills and a block, while Ramirez hit 8 spikes, a block, served 2 aces and played good defense with 4 good receptions, to win the fourth set: 25-23.

Guatemala took the lead again in the fifth set, but Belize’s young bloods were not to be deterred and they fought back to win 15-13.

Perhaps the real final was Tuesday night, when the Belize girls did the unthinkable, broke the unbreakable and set the defending champions – Costa Rica back on their haunches with a 3-1 win! It was an unprecedented feat against a team that has ruled Central American volleyball in a 25-year dynasty!

Belize had dispatched Panama: 3-0 on Sunday and Nicaragua 3-1 on Monday, but lost their opening match 2-3 against El Salvador last Saturday night. Costa Rica won the gold based on total points scored for and against, as Costa Rica, Belize and El Salvador finished in a 3-way tie, each team with four victories and one loss. Belize won the silver, and El Salvador had to settle for bronze.

The BVA’s executive committee presented individual awards to the best players and BVA president Allan Sharp presented the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award to Costa Rica’s Yuliana González, who also won awards for Best Server and second Best Spiker.

Sherika Burton won awards for Best Spiker with 86 kills and Best Scorer with 96 points. Shantell Arnold was awarded Best Opposite, scoring 68 points: 48 spikes, 13 blocks and 7 serves. Karen Quan won Best Setter.

Nicaragua’s Josafat Díaz won Best Blocker – 18 kill blocks, while Guatemala’s Astrid González won Best Blocker – 14 blocks, her countrywoman Laura Quiñonez won awards for Best Libero and Best Digger. El Salvador’s Kathya Vasquez won Best Receiver.

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