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GIRLS VOLLEYBALL FINAL FOUR

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Knights def. Geckos

Allyson Chiu of the Knights soars in the air as she tips the ball over the net. (photo by Asha Robles)

Allyson Chiu of the Knights soars in the air as she tips the ball over the net. (photo by Asha Robles)

The St. John’s Knights worked like a finely oiled machine behind MVP setter Alex McCarroll against the GW Geckos, beating them 25-14, 25-23 on a flurry of Saturday night volleyball quarterfinal games.

The build-up of these two teams had them evenly matched, but the ability to keep their mistakes minimal propelled the Knights into a semifinal match-up against he Academy Cougars.

Kristina Folta and Allison Chiu came up big in the first set to pace the Knights as they jumped out at an early lead despite great hitting from Geckos Sia Duenas. The Knights’ fast pace offense gave them a 25-14 first set victory.

The Geckos, behind Duenas, stormed back in the second set and held a 10-6 lead. The Knight’s fought back and kept it a back-and-forth affair until the 23-point mark when the Knight’s capitalized on a Gecko error. With the advantage, the Knight’s served an ace that officially ended the game, setting up a big semifinal showdown with the Academy Cougars Tuesday night.

Cougars def. Islanders

By Niko Bulaon

With the quarterfinals over, its down to four teams in the IIAAG girls’ volleyball league as the Southern Dolphins, Sanchez Sharks, Academy Cougars, and St. John’s Knights move on to the semi-finals, scheduled for Tuesday night.

The Cougars avenged last year’s quarterfinals upset, taking out the JFK Islanders in three thrilling sets, 25-7, 22-25, 25-19, at the AOLG gym Saturday night.

With the second set rolling, the Islanders looked to take over after a first set loss with an ace from Janelle Onedera. But the Cougars kept their pace, following right behind their opponents until a miscommunication among Academy gave JFK the lead. With two kills from Vinnesah Blas, the Islanders led by four, 11-7.

The Cougars fought back with a kill and ace by Alina Bonto, but it wasn’t long till Islanders Kristin Sapp stepped up to keep her team in the lead. Putting in six of her kills in the second set, with the help of Blas, the Islanders were two points away from taking the set. But Cougars middle-blocker Cyndi Scott quickly sent a kill and two aces into the Islander’s side, cutting their opponents’ lead to only one. But an untimely error by Academy and another kill by Sapp forced a third set.

Cougars Celeste Guarin landed six back-to-back aces at the start of the third and a tip by Erin Wong put the Islanders in a slump. Two errors by their opponents put JFK in the game, but a kill by Wong and an ace by Jasie Villanueva kept the Cougars at a huge advantage, 10-2. With JFK losing focus, the Cougars sent any ace and kill they could land, but behind Sapp and Blas, the Islanders kept their opponents on their toes.

After two other aces by Guarin and a huge block by Wong, Academy led by nine, 18-9. The Islanders tried to fight back, but a kill by Cougars Gemilie Ilao kept their opponents at bay. With Academy at 23-15, Sapp sent a kill and two aces to give JFK hope for a comeback. But a kill by Cougars Ladera Linn and a block by Scott stopped the Islanders from repeating history.

“It was all or nothing,” commented Linn on the Cougars third set comeback, “Go hard or go home.”

The Cougars started the first set with a blowout, landing kills and aces on the Islanders’ territory. With Sapp trying to answer Academy’s kills, the Cougars stepped up behind Wong and Linn to keep the lead at a huge margin.

The Islanders startled the Cougars with a major upset in last year’s quarterfinals, setting one of the biggest upsets in the history of the IIAAG girls’ volleyball league. Wanting to avenge their unusual defeat, Linn said, “Last year was one of the worst feelings of our lives. We didn’t want history to repeat itself.”

Linn led her team with four kills with the help of Wong with four kills and two blocks. In the losing effort, Sapp landed eight kills, three aces, and three blocks.

The Dolphins and Sharks will play the 5:30 p.m. game Tuesday night while the Cougars will face off with the St. John’s Knights at 7 p.m. Location to be announced.

Other Games:

Southern def. Okkodo 25-21, 15-25, 25-19

Sanchez def. ND 23-25, 25-22, 25-20

 

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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

Geckos' Sia Duenas spikes the ball over Knights' Crisi Iglesias. (photo by Asha Robles)

Geckos’ Sia Duenas spikes the ball over Knights’ Crisi Iglesias. (photo by Asha Robles)

Zea Nauta of the Geckos gets the ball over the net with a hard hit. (photo by Asha Robles)

Zea Nauta of the Geckos gets the ball over the net with a hard hit. (photo by Asha Robles)

Kristina Folta of the Knights quickly spikes the ball over the net. (photo by Asha Robles)

Kristina Folta of the Knights quickly spikes the ball over the net. (photo by Asha Robles)

Geckos' Jasmine Almoguera gets up high as she makes a quick block off of a hard spike. (photo by Asha Robles)

Geckos’ Jasmine Almoguera gets up high as she makes a quick block off of a hard spike. (photo by Asha Robles)

Allyson Chiu of the Knights soars in the air as she tips the ball over the net. (photo by Asha Robles)

Allyson Chiu of the Knights soars in the air as she tips the ball over the net. (photo by Asha Robles)

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