The winners of the Group are secured of a direct pass to the third and final round of tournaments to be held next year.
Costa Rica’s captain Richard Smith tallied 22 points, including four blocks and two aces, while Jeffrey Calderon and Jose Pablo Zumbado charted 12 and 11 respectively. Curacao’s Darwin Colina had a match-high 29 points followed by Jurcham Meulens with 14.
The winners out-blocked their opponents 11-9 and held an 8-4 advantage in the serving aces department. Costa Rica took advantage of 39 opponents’ unforced errors.
“It was a very tough match and we didn’t expect Curacao was going to be as strong as it was,” Smith said. “We have some down moments but we were able to recover and I am happy to start with a victory.”
“We need to play with more confidence,” Curacao’s Gilbert Poulina said, “Costa Rica is a very good team but I think we are going to play better in our next matches.”
The experience of Costa Rica was one of the keys for the victory according to its coach Cesar Salas.
“We could close the sets in the key moments with our experience,” Salas said. “I am sure we are going to improve in our next outings.
“It was a very complicated game due to several factors because our reception was not as good as we wanted and the serves of Curacao were tough.”
Hubert Petronia coach of Curacao was satisfied with the job of his side in the first match but expect improvement with some tune-up.
“We played a tremendous game against a strong team as Costa Rica,” Petronia said. “We need to work in some aspects.”
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