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COUGARS CLINCH SHIEH TITLE

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By Niko Bulaon

Academy Cougars’ Meagan Maratita and Isabel Flores team up to make the save and send the ball over to the Sanchez Sharks. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Academy Cougars’ Meagan Maratita and Isabel Flores team up to make the save and send the ball over to the Sanchez Sharks. (photo by Jesse Castro)

How do you start the upcoming season right? As the 2013 Shieh Tournament champions.

After three days of games at John F. Kennedy among ten schools, it all came down to one with the Academy Cougars defeating the Sanchez Sharks in three exciting sets, 25-19, 19-25, 25-18.

From the start of the first set, the Sharks came out firing, taking an early 8-1 lead behind Shaniah Aguon and Kristin Artero. The Cougars struggled to get back from miscommunications and multiple errors. It wasn’t long until Cougars Cydni Scott stepped up to get her team going with a tip, frazzling their opponents. Artero fought back with multiple kills, keeping her team slightly ahead of the Cougars, 18-16. As the Sharks seemed to be taking the first set, Scott and teammate Celeste Guarin took the matter into their own hands, ending the first set with two aces from Guarin.

“It’s not going to be easy,” said Cougars Erin Wong about the upcoming season. “But I think my team is capable of getting to the finish like we did today.”

With a first set win, the Cougars came back on the court to take the game, but the Sharks had other plans. With two kills from Artero and an ace from teammate Akiko Naval, the Sharks took another early lead of 2-7. Multiple errors from both teams caused the lead to be cut short to two; a kill from Wong tied the game to 9-9. As the Cougars and Sharks fought for the lead, Aguon and Scott kept their teams on their feet and in the game.

McDonald’s Player of the Game Academy Cougars’ Erin Wong. (photo by Jesse Castro)

McDonald’s Player of the Game Academy Cougars Erin Wong (photo by Jesse Castro)

Sharks Kiara Rojas stepped up to give her team a running lead, 22-16, but Wong’s block and kill kept the Sharks at bay. It wasn’t long before the combination of Artero and Rojas got their team the second set win, forcing a third set to be played.

The third started in a different manner; the Cougars took a quick lead of 5-0 behind Wong before the Sharks found their rhythm again. The Cougars soon took advantage of the Sharks’ errors; a mistake by the Sharks got their opponents up by four. But the Sharks didn’t give up easily, sending any ace and kill they could. Unforced errors brought the score to 23-17. A huge block from Scott and an electrifying kill from teammate Ladera Linn ended the game with the Cougars taking the 14th Annual Shieh title.

“Prepare mentally,” replied Wong about preparing for this tournament. “To keep our composure and to play like we do in practice. Our main goal was to see where we were and to see who we were up against and improve from there for the regular season.”

Wong led her team with six kills and four blocks with the help of teammate Scott with two kills and four blocks. In the losing effort, Artero led the Sharks with seven kills.

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

Academy Cougars celebrate their three set victory against the Sanchez Sharks. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Academy Cougars celebrate their three set victory against the Sanchez Sharks. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Sanchez Sharks’ Kristin Artero got the ball past Academy Cougars’ Cyndi Scott for the side out. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Sanchez Sharks’ Kristin Artero got the ball past Academy Cougars’ Cyndi Scott for the side out. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Sanchez Sharks’ Kiara Rojas spiked the ball to the Academy Cougars side. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Sanchez Sharks’ Kiara Rojas spiked the ball to the Academy Cougars side. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Academy Cougars’ Erin Wong defended the net against a sneak play while Sanchez Sharks setter Chanel Catunao sets the ball up for a spike. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Academy Cougars’ Erin Wong defended the net against a sneak play while Sanchez Sharks setter Chanel Catunao sets the ball up for a spike. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Academy Cougars’ Erin Wong spiked the ball over the net with Sanchez Sharks’ Kiara Rojas ready to make the block. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Academy Cougars’ Erin Wong spiked the ball over the net with Sanchez Sharks’ Kiara Rojas ready to make the block. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Sanchez Sharks’ Kristin Artero spikes the ball over with Academy Cougars’ Cyndi Scott prepared to block the incoming ball. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Sanchez Sharks’ Kristin Artero spikes the ball over with Academy Cougars’ Cyndi Scott prepared to block the incoming ball. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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