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GECKOS ROLL OVER KNIGHTS

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By Patrick Lujan

Geckos Luis Mesngon goes up for a kill between St. John’s blockers Dung Tran & Reed Reyer. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Geckos Luis Mesngon goes up for a kill between St. John’s blockers Dung Tran & Reed Reyer. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Because of a different spring break schedule, the St. John’s Knights played their first IIAAG Boys Volleyball League game Saturday night, one week after the rest of the league got their feat wet.

Starting against the two-time defending champion and highly-favored GW Geckos wasn’t in the Knights’ favor and it showed.

The Geckos’ smooth transitions as compared to the Knights offensive struggles resulted in an easy 25-17, 25-17 win for the mighty Geckos.

“We’re progressing every game,” first year GW head coach and Gecko volleyball legend Ed Duenas said. “We’re coming around fixing all the little mistakes from games and practices so we’re doing great.”

McDonald's player of the game: Geckos' Luis Mesngon

McDonald’s player of the game: Geckos’ Luis Mesngon

A scary thought for the rest of the league.

The first set saw some devastating kills by senior Devin Maluwelmeng, but GW also kept St. John’s in the game with a number of unforced and service errors.

Twelve of the first 15 Knights points came off of Gecko errors, but the GW offensive attack was more than enough to stave off St. John’s.

The Geckos reeled off 15 kills in the first set alone while the Knights’ offense struggled with only one kill.

GW reduced its errors in the second set and continued to rely no Maluwelmeng and fellow All-Island star Luis Mesngon.

A Mesngon crosscourt kill that put a facial on a backcourt foe helped the Geckos jump out early.

Knights hitter Reed Meyer attempts a backcourt kill in the first set. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Knights hitter Reed Meyer attempts a backcourt kill in the first set. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The lone bright spot for St. John’s was a thunderous kill by All-Island returnee Reed Meyer that cut the lead to 7-4. Unfortunately for the Knights, they were unable to get Meyer into a rhythm as that happened to be his only kill of the match.

Mesngon continued to guide the GW offense with help from Maluwelmeng and Matthew Soto in an easy set win.

Middle blocker Allander Ebeo ended the match with a kill off an overpass.

“I feel like we’re still progressing,” said Mesngon, who is a three-time First Team All-Islander. “We have a lot to work on. Our chemistry is really good. We just have some minor things to fix – coverage, communication and our serves – that’s about it.”

BIG TARGETS

As the two-time champs and a boat load of high-level talent, the Geckos knows the bullseye is on their backs this season.

“We’re back-to-back champs – yes we do,” Duenas said when asked if he knows they have a bullseye on the Geckos.

“The goal right now is championship,” Mensgon added. “Everyone wants to beat out the champions so I’m sure everyone wants to go strong against us.”

1st Set

The Geckos and Knights shake hands after the quick match. GW sits alone atop the standings at 4-0. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The Geckos and Knights shake hands after the quick match. GW sits alone atop the standings at 4-0. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Aces: GW 2 (Camacho, Quichocho), SJ 2 (Atalig, Tran). Unforced errors: GW 7, SJ 5. Service errors: GW 7, SJ 3. Blocks: GW o, SJ 0 . Kills: GW 15 (Maluwlemeng 6, Mesngon 4, Ebeo 3, Soto 2), SJ 1 (Atalig).

2nd Set

Aces: GW 3 (Maluwelmeng 2, Soto), SJ 0. Unforced errors: GW 4, SJ 5. Service errors: GW 4, SJ 6. Blocks: GW o, SJ 2 (Meyer, Tran). Kills: GW 13 (Mesngon 4, Maluwlemeng 3, Soto 2, Ebeo, Soulik), SJ 6 (Atalig 3, Del Carmen 2, Meyer).

OTHER GAMES

The JFK Islanders remain unbeaten at 2-0 with a 25-15, 25-23 win over the Okkodo Bulldogs while the St. Paul Warriors cruised by the  Guam High Panthers 25-15, 25-19.

boys volleyball standings

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