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Belize wins silver in the 19th Central American U21 Women’s Volleyball Championship tournament

HighlightsBelize wins silver in the 19th Central American U21 Women’s Volleyball Championship tournament

Belize loses to an undefeated Guatemala team in five sets in the gold medal championship games. Four Belizean players won five individual awards.

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 18, 2022
After being undefeated for the duration of the Central American U21 Women’s Volleyball Championship tournament, the Belize U21 Women’s Volleyball team suffered a crucial loss at the tournament at the hands of the Guatemalan team, who went undefeated for the tournament’s entirety.


Before the championship game on Saturday, July 16, Team Belize was the clear favorite to win the gold medal, as they had won all of their games within three sets, while the Guatemalan women’s team also won all of their games, but within five sets.


However, Belize lost its first set in its match against Guatemala with a score of 19 – 25. But they were able to bounce back in the second and third sets with a score of 25 – 20 and 25 – 20, and were able to ignite the home base with energetic cheers. However, they were unable to sustain the momentum and lost the remaining two sets with a score of 19 – 25 and 11 – 15.


Captain of Belize’s U21 Women’s Volleyball team, Sofia Solano, remarked after the game, “I mean, a lot of us are disappointed. We really wanted gold, [and] I think we have wanted it for so long, and it was right there, and I feel like we were all disappointed that we didn’t get it. But on the other hand, we did fight extremely hard; we gave it our all on the court; we pushed point by point, and in the end, Guatemala got the best of us, but we did try our best and put a lot of effort [into] the court… the fourth and fifth sets were a bit difficult for us because you factor in being tired. You factor in a lot of pressure from the fans, but I think we did have that mental strength to power us through those sets at least and give it our all as well.”


At the end of the tournament, four Belizean players were awarded five out of twelve awards. Fatoumata Camara won the Best Spiker and Best Receiver awards, while Gareth Bruce also received a Best Spiker award and Iman Safa was named Best Setter. Solano was named Best Libero of the tournament and told AMANDALA that it was a surprise to be given this award.


“It was a surprise for me, honestly, because I feel like I could’ve done a lot much better in this tournament, and I think the Guatemala game allowed me to really try to push harder and get more touches and get more digs and things like that. I honestly do feel happy. Of course, I am still disappointed, because I want our team to win gold, and for me the team over everything, the team over individual awards. But of course, I am grateful [and] I am satisfied,” she said.


After the disappointing loss for Belize’s U21 team, Solano mentioned that there will be another upcoming tournament in Honduras at the U23 level, which will begin in a week, and the majority of the members on the U21 team will be participating in it as well.


“I think most of us are going to stay and train for that, and we’re going to basically for the next couple of days be working on that. It’s a higher age group, it’s U23; this is U21, so it will be a bit more difficult, but it gives us an opportunity to work hard again and represent our country,” she said.


Belize won silver in the Central American U21 Women’s Volleyball Championship tournament in 2018, and in 2019 they also won silver at the U18 and U23 levels.

Individual Awards
Guatemala wins Gold

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