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DOLPHINS OPEN TITLE DEFENSE

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By Niko Bulaon

Guam High Panthers blockers Catherine Fuller and Ha'ane Limtiaco get the save as they defend their side of the net by blocking a hard hit from Southern Dolphins' April Talledo. (photo by Asha Robles)

Guam High Panthers blockers Catherine Fuller and Ha’ane Limtiaco get the save as they defend their side of the net by blocking a hard hit from Southern Dolphins’ April Talledo. (photo by Asha Robles)

It was the night of new beginnings: the girls’ high school volleyball season has finally begun with each school looking to start the season right. The defending champions, Southern Dolphins, were put to the test as they defeated the Guam High Panthers in three heart-thumping sets, 23-25, 26-24, 25-21.

The second set determined it all for the Dolphins in tonight’s game: stay and keep playing or go home with a loss. With one set on their side, the Panthers started the second with two amazing saves by Kayla Blend. Multiple errors from both sides had the score changing until the Panthers finally found a rhythm.

Behind Tiffani Unsiog and Alexis McGuire, the Panthers looked to have the game in their hands. But for the Dolphins, it wasn’t over yet: April Talledo started a Dolphins’ run with two kills and an ace. A Panther error would tie the game at 17-17. As the Dolphins approached the score of 23-21, Ha’ani Limtiaco kept the Panthers in the game, tying the score at 24-24 with a kill, but unforced errors lead the Dolphins to a second set win.

“Just staying together, playing with all our heart,” said Talledo about coming back from a first set loss. “Believing in our self that we could do it.”

 Ha'ane Limtiaco from the Guam High Panthers gets the hit as a Southern Dolphin tries to  make a block. (photo by Asha Robles)

Ha’ane Limtiaco from the Guam High Panthers gets the hit as a Southern Dolphin tries to make a block. (photo by Asha Robles)

The first set started in the favor of the Panthers with back-to-back kills from Limtiaco and back-to-back aces from Unsiog. As the Dolphins struggled after a couple of miscommunications, the Panthers took advantage and threw any kill and ace they could. But it didn’t get any easier as several mistakes from both teams kept the score close.

As the Panthers led the first set at 17-15, two aces from Talledo tied the game. But the Panthers looked to make a statement; kills by Blend and Unsiog kept their team in the lead by four. With the first set in favor for the Panthers, the Dolphins fought back with a kill from Sakaba. However, it was answered back by Blend, ending the first set on a high note.

Panthers Catherine Fuller started the third set on the side of her team with an amazing block. But it wasn’t long till the Dolphins started a run to take the lead by four. But multiple errors brought the Panthers within range of taking the lead. A kill by Unsiog had the Panthers leading once again, but Sakaba would soon cut it short, taking the lead 20-19.

As the score came closer to determine who’s first win it would be, the Dolphins and Panthers started to make errors, until a kill from Sakaba and two aces from Talledo would end the third set and give the win to the this year’s defending champions.

“I really can’t tell what we will happen,” Talledo commented about how the defending champions will do in the season. “Whatever happens, happens.”

OTHER SCORES:

Okkodo def. St. John’s 24-26, 25-17, 25-20

Sanchez def.  Harvest 25-10, 25-20

JFK def. St. Paul 25-16, 21-25, 25-8

GW def. Notre Dame 25-20, 25-22: Geana Leon Guerrero lead the Geckos with 8 aces, 2 kills and 25 digs. Samantha Quinata added 8 blocks and 2 kills, while Marica Mariano helped the Gecko cause with 4 kills and 12 digs.

BYE: ACADEMY

JUNIOR VARSITY SCORES

Okkodo def. St. John’s 14-25, 25-22, 25-22

Sanchez def. Harvest 25-15, 25-13

GW def. Notre Dame 25-22, 25-18

Guam High def. Southern

JFK def. St. Paul 25-13, 25-17

St. Thomas vs. GAA

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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

Southern Dolphins' Tianna Sakaba gets the kill off of this hit as a Guam High Panther tries to make the block. (photo by Asha Robles)

Southern Dolphins’ Tianna Sakaba gets the kill off of this hit as a Guam High Panther tries to make the block. (photo by Asha Robles)

Guam High Panthers' Kayla Blend receives the ball off of a serve. (photo by Asha Robles)

Guam High Panthers’ Kayla Blend receives the ball off of a serve. (photo by Asha Robles)

Tanya Flores from the Southern Dolphins makes a quick save off of a serve. (photo by Asha Robles)

Tanya Flores from the Southern Dolphins makes a quick save off of a serve. (photo by Asha Robles)

Katrina Joiner from the Guam High Panthers gets ready to serve the ball. (photo by Asha Robles)

Katrina Joiner from the Guam High Panthers gets ready to serve the ball. (photo by Asha Robles)

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