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GECKOS TAME PANTHERS

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By Crystal Aguon

Guam High’s Catherine Fuller shoots the ball over the net past the defense of GW’s Jasmine Almoguera. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

The GW Geckos retain their undefeated position after defeating the Guam High Panthers in two sets. It was a full house and with a great display of sportsmanship by both teams. The Panthers put in their best efforts, however, the Geckos couldn’t be contained finishing the night with the scores 25-18 and 25-10.

The game started off with a beautiful bump, set, and finishing kill by Geckos power hitter Geana Leon Guerrero. Two unstoppable aces from Geckos Auneka Chaco, combined with a block and kill from middle blocker Zea Nauta, pushed the score spread to 7-1, forcing the Panthers to call a timeout. As the Panthers regrouped themselves, Panther Alyssa Swingle took the smart route and tipped the ball into open area for a side out. Unfortunately, the point wasn’t enough to lift the Panthers’ game; a couple of errors on the Panthers’ side, and three consecutive aces by Geckos’ Sia Erice Duenas, brought the lead to 13-2. After points were being traded back and forth between teams, the score read 20-9 and it seemed like it was going to be an easy set for the Geckos. But the Panthers continued to fight back. Another great hit from Panthers’ Swingle gave her team hope. It was then when the Panthers found their game and began to capitalize on Geckos errors.

Guam High’s Tiffani Unsiog hits around the block of GW’s Sia Erice Duenas. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

A cross court kill from Panther Tiffani Unsiog and continuous errors from the Geckos began to close the gap at 22-15. Geckos’ Duenas urged for the set to end and made a kill to set the score at 23-15 with two points left to push. Two Geckos errors and an ace from Swingle made the game tight at 23-18, but Panther luck didn’t last long when they then got called for a carry. At set-point, Geckos Lean Guerrero tipped the ball right inside the sideline to end the set at 25-18.

The second set was a continuation of beautifully executed volleyball. Rallies were long, and nerve wrecking. This was no ping pong game as both teams displayed spectacular bump, set, spike motions. There were numerous digs, on the Geckos side; Auneka Chaco had seven digs this set and Panthers libero Tessa Jaynes had four. It was Aguigui who led the set with two kills and four straight aces in the beginning of the set to give her team a 10-3 lead. However, a few violations on the Geckos cost them a few points. With the score at 15-10, the Geckos never looked back. A kill from Chaco, Leon Guerrero, and two from Aguigui sealed the win. The Geckos finished strong with an ace that finished the set and game. The Geckos now improve to 3-0 while the Panthers fall to 0-3.

Standout player Aguigui said, “It’s placement over power, that’s how you get points” finishing the game with seven kills and four aces.

In JV action, the Geckos cruised by the Panthers 25-11, 25-13 and St. Thomas Aquinas took out the ND Royals 23-25, 25-12, 25-14.

The Royals beat GAA in the varsity matchup 25-14, 25-12.

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Foody’s Fun Facts

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QUICK HITS

UOG hired Tatiana Sablan as the new volleyball coach. Sablan served as the original volleyball coach for UOG back in 2016 and she has been rehired to lead the more “beach” oriented program in 2022-23.
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Palau history: Outfielder Bligh Madris was called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates today to become the first Palauan to make it to the major leagues. The lefty Madris was batting .304 with five home runs and 20 RBI at Triple A before getting the Call Up!

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