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GECKOS FINISH PERFECT

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By Robert Balajadia

Geckos’ Devin Maluwelmeng dove to save a blocked hit.  (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Devin Maluwelmeng dove to save a blocked hit. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The GW Geckos have finished the 2013 boys volleyball season like they did the 2012 season, undefeated.

The Geckos finished a perfect 11-0 on the season after defeating the FD Friars in three close sets 25-18, 20-25, 25-22.  The Friars were hoping to lock up the second seed with a win over GW that would put them above the JFK Islanders, but the Geckos were intent on finishing the season unbeaten.

Sophomore all-star setter Allen Camacho shook off a rough second set and led the charge in the third, setting up his teammates for momentum changing kills.  Camacho broke a string of back-and-forth points when he stepped up to serve, giving the Geckos slight separation while the team scored three straight points to go up 11-7.

McDonald's Player of the Game: Allen Camacho

McDonald’s Player of the Game: Allen Camacho

“I just had to listen to Luis [Mesngon], our team captain, and just get my head in the game.  I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without my team putting me in focus. The [Friars] blocks are good, I’ve got to admit that,” stated Camacho on his third set performance.

The Friars roared back in the third behind the serving of Tristin Debold and blocking of Jeremiah Taitano, going on a small three point run to pull the Friars within a single point 12-11.

A play later, Camacho found Geo Quichocho for an instant-kill which stopped the Friar run.  The teams would continue to trade points until Camacho set up Mesngon for a kill on a wild scramble to go up 22-17.

The Friars rallied after a high-impact block from Taitano that brought the Frairs within three points 23-20, with the Friar fans and coaching staff’s cheers rocking the gym.  Camacho quickly killed the momentum by perfectly placing a set in the air space of power hitter Allander Ebeo, which he smashed into a 24-20 lead.

Mesngon had the final say of the season after being set up for a near unblockable kill to cap off another undefeated season.  Contrary to popular belief, Mesngon shares that finishing undefeated is something the Geckos do aim for.

Friars’ Nathaniel San Nicolas got low to receive the ball from the Geckos’ killer serves. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Friars’ Nathaniel San Nicolas got low to receive the ball from the Geckos’ killer serves. (photo by Jesse Castro)

“As a team, the game may be close, but no matter what we are trained to always play smart.  We train hard and hope that the game is what is practiced.  Finishing undefeated is really important considering the fact that we are the defending champs for the past two years.  FD is a good team but the Geckos are too, we just wanted to see who would come out and give their all,” stated the animated Mesngon.

The Geckos will be playing the GAA Angels in the first round of the playoffs hoping not only to replicate last year’s regular season success but their playoff success as well.  The Friars will face off against the Harvest Eagles in the opening round.

The Geckos were playing without head coach Ed Duenas who has been away from the team due to illness.  Mesngon assured that the Geckos are mentally and physically ready to handle situations like this but did open up to his coach saying, “We hope you get better and comeback soon because this is your championship too, so get better!”

 

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Friars’ Michael Sakazaki spiked the ball around the Gecko defenders Allander Ebeo and Geo Quichocho. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Friars’ Michael Sakazaki spiked the ball around the Gecko defenders Allander Ebeo and Geo Quichocho. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Allander Ebeo getting high-up on the jump serve. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Allander Ebeo getting high-up on the jump serve. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Luis Mesngon spiked the ball only to have it returned to his team side by Friars’ blockers Jeremiah Taitano and Shaine Munoz. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos’ Luis Mesngon spiked the ball only to have it returned to his team side by Friars’ blockers Jeremiah Taitano and Shaine Munoz. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Friars’ Reynold Rokop focused on the ball as he serves to the Geckos. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Friars’ Reynold Rokop focused on the ball as he serves to the Geckos. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Friars’ Anthony Olchondra leaned to bump the ball to his team setter. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Friars’ Anthony Olchondra leaned to bump the ball to his team setter. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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