By Colin Leon Guerrero
The Father Duenas Friars remain unbeaten as they outlasted the St. John Knights in a three set thriller 25-27, 25-16, 25-18 in IIAAG Boys’ Volleyball Tuesday night at the FD Jungle.
A blistering kill from St. Johns’ TJ Atalig tying things up at a deuce 24-24 at the end of the first set silenced the rowdy FD crowd. The very next play FD’s Reynold Rokop tied it up again with a slick dink forcing another deuce 25-25. The Friars were unable to overcome a couple of careless errors handing the Knights the first set 27-25.
Coming into the second set the Knights seemed confident that they had a chance to end FD’s undefeated record with Atalig and teammate Reed Meyer hitting a couple of big kills early in the first set giving St. John’s the lead 4-3 early in the second set. That momentum was short lived as a number of unforced errors gave the lead back to the Friars at 8-4. Anthony Olchondra would get the crowd going with a couple of big kills extending the lead 14-9 for the Friars. Once again errors would get the best of the Knights allowing FD to go up 21-13. Michael Sakazaki would win the second set for FD at 25-18 after a soft dink that sneaked its way behind two blockers.
Jeremiah Taitano came up big in the third set for the Friars with a relentless attack on both offense and defense. Taitano started off the third set with two big blocks, which made the crowd roar.
“My mindset was to prevent them for hitting the ball down and getting good hits,” said Taitano who preserved the win for the Friars after nailing a kill making the score 24-18.
A costly error by St. John’s Jonathan Odell would unfortunately give the Friars the game 25-18.
With the win the Friars remain unbeaten 6-0, while the Knights drop to 4-2 after winning their last four.
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