In addition to surfing, diving, art and good food at Samara Beach, beach volleyball has to be added to the list now. With a beach of four kilometers of white sand outlined by palm trees, strangler trees, bars and restaurants, it was only a matter of time before this sport got going in the area.
To start being marketed as a volleyball sports tourism destination, the first Samara Open Beach Volleyball Tournament was organized on July 25th.
To open the event, Avril Ortiz and Clare Mountuoro, girls from Samara School, were dressed in folkloric costumes in honor of the celebration of 191 years since the Annexation of Nicoya to Costa Rica, and local singer Emanuel Obando performed the song “Soy Tico” (I am Tico).
After the inauguration, the pre-classification started, and about 150 people arrived, between spectators and players. Elite category pairs who currently competein national and international tournaments were present.
On Sunday, the best teams of the tournament were ready to give a show of professional volleyball. The men’s open category had a quartet of players with international experience.
On the one hand, the Pedregal & Vyasa team made up of brothers Alexander & Gilberto Villegas contendedin the final against the Samara Beach Volley. team composed of Richard Smith & Bryan Monge, with a combination of absolute technique and volleyball explosion.
First place went to the Villegas brothers with an overwhelming 2-0 set, and second place went to Samara Beach Volley. Third place went to the Balto team, formed by experienced players Raul Sandoval & Javier Alvarez, after defeating the Grupo Esquipulas team, made up of Sebastian Valenciano & Alejandro Gonzalez, four extravagant teams who gave us the best beach volleyball.
On the other hand, in the Female Open, first place went to the ruthless duo Valeria Valenciano & Marcela Araya, who were overwhelming, not losing a single set during the entire open. They are a couple with a lot of impact and strength for future tournaments.
Second place went to the SkyAdventures team, made up of Johanna Villegas & Vivian Hernandez, and the third place team was Samara Beach Volley, formed by Melissa Jimenez & Dragana Stevanovic, after defeating the Tamarindo Beach Volley team, composed of Paola Canet & Danelle Hoot, in a very close game.
First place in the Under 18 Female category was Club Villegas, comprised of Camila & Larissa Villegas. In the Under 18 Men’s Category, the winning team was Samara Beach Volley Juniors Elber Zuñiga & Gerardo Aguilar.
With a successful experience, the organizers of the first Samara Beach Volleyball Open hope that the National Beach Volleyball Association will take them into account to include Samara for a date in the National Tournament, which is the highest level of volleyball in Costa Rica.
Juan Carlos Cruz
For those who want to play or learn beach volleyball, visit Samara Beach Volley Clinic ([email protected] or call 8796-6484). The clinic has certified teachers and classes are every Sunday at 10 a.m.. There are also two courts in front of Gusto Beach restaurant where people can play every afternoon.