BELIZE CITY, Mon. Nov. 25, 2019– The Belize Volleyball Association is pleased to announce that Team Belize came home yesterday with Silver medals after ranking second in the XIII U-18 Central American Female Volleyball Championship held in Ciudad Quesada, San Carlos, Costa Rica from November 19 – 23.
Belize also claimed 7 of the 12 Individual Awards: Gareth Bruce – Best Scorer and Best Attacker; Sofia Solano – Best Libero and Best Defensive Player; Iman Safa – Best Setter; Olivia McKenzie – Best Blocker 2; Jayda Smith – Best Receiver.
The undefeated Costa Rica team placed first; Belize, second; and Honduras, third.
Belize opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over the defending champions, Honduras, on Tuesday, followed by a second win over Nicaragua, 3-0, on Wednesday. It was on Thursday that the Costa Rican champions defeated Belize, 3-1, costing Belize the Gold medal. Belize came back on Friday to win against Guatemala, 3-0; and on Saturday they defeated El Salvador, 3-0, as well. Despite their one loss, the team did remarkably well.
The 18-person delegation was comprised of the following people: 13 Players – #1 Salima Barrow, #2 Gareth Bruce (Captain), #3 Kyra Phillips, #4 Olivia McKenzie, #5 Jayda Smith, #6 Iman Safa, #7 Daniella Bou-Nahra, #8 Sofia Solano, #9 Avianka Avila, #10 Arianne Flores, #11 Kashyima Webster, #12 Khaya Gordon, #13 Letisha Lamb; Head Coach: Profe Jose Fontes; Assistant Coach: Ms. Lupita Quan; Assistant Coach: Mr. Larry Bennett; Delegate: Mrs. Nicole Solano; Chaperone: Ms. Nellita Bradley.
The round-robin competition featured Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Honduras was the previous champion, after winning their second title (2005, 2017) undefeated while hosting the last edition of the event. They prevailed over Costa Rica, who had won the previous five editions in a row. The AFECAVOL U18 podium had been shared by Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras during the last four editions of the tournament, and Belize joins that honor for the first time in history. The champion, Costa Rica, will represent AFECAVOL in the continental championship.
The Belize Volleyball Association (BVA) congratulates all players, coaches and the entire delegation, and is especially thankful to all its sponsors and supporters.
– press release –
(Amandala Sports Ed. Note: The Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council organized a motorcade this afternoon through the principal streets of Belize City to celebrate our U-18 Women Volleyball Team. At the sports desk, we join all Belizeans in congratulating our young women on an outstanding achievement, and thanks to the BVA and its coaches, sponsors and supporters for helping to make it all possible. Big-up!!)
Feature photo: Team Belize – Silver Medalists in XIII U-18 Central American Female Volleyball Championship