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GECKOS SNAP ISLANDERS HOT STREAK

The defending champion the GW Geckos ended the JFK Islanders’ winning streak in three head-to-head sets at the GW gymnasium Saturday night.

By Niko Bulaon

The defending champion GW Geckos ended the JFK Islanders’ winning streak in three head-to-head sets, 25-11, 15-25, 25-17, at the GW gymnasium Saturday night.

The Geckos took the first set with ease after a back-and-forth lead in the beginning minutes of the game. Led by hard hitter Devin San Agustin with help from setter Christopher Suarez, GW went on a 14-0 run in what looked to be an easy game for the defending champions.

Islanders’ setter Kurtis Silva jump-sets the ball to teammate Brian Crowe. (photo by Asha Robles)

Islanders’ setter Kurtis Silva jump-sets the ball to teammate Brian Crowe. (photo by Asha Robles)

By the second set, the Islanders came to take the game back. Starting at an 8-0 run after three aces from Kurtis Silva, JFK saw an opportunity for a third set. With the Islanders on attack, the Geckos stepped up their defense to try and counter attack their opponents.

But the strength of Brian Crowe matched up with opponent San Agustin to lead his team through the second set.

With the score standing at 19-9, GW looked to come back after an ace and a kill from Shawn Duenas, but Crowe answered back with a kill of his own. Despite the effort of the Geckos, the Islanders took the second set after a untimely error by GW, forcing a third set to be played.

The Geckos came out into the third set with determination; back-to-back kills from Matthew Soto put his team ahead of JFK. But the Islanders stayed right behind their opponents, taking the lead after an ace from Wayne Jesus, 5-4. With the Islanders keeping the lead, the Geckos stepped up after two aces by Philip Siguenza, tying it was 9-9.

Ryan Soulik of the Geckos gets up high to make the tip. (photo by Asha Robles)

Ryan Soulik of the Geckos gets up high to make the tip. (photo by Asha Robles)

Errors from both teams had the lead changing multiple times, but it was a JFK error that would cost them the lead. With multiple aces and kills hitting the Islander’s territory, the Geckos cruised to the win and ended the undefeated record of JFK.

“I feel really great,” said GW head coach Ed Duenas, “We just got three of our players back from the confirmation retreat; they were very crucial tonight.”

The Geckos movement as a team is what gave them the win.

When asked how he prepares his team physically and mentally, Coach Duenas said, “We are the defending champions so we’re out there to remind everyone that we’re here to stay and we do have big targets on our backs, but training everyday is hard. We hold high standards here; that’s why we’re consistently champions.”

San Agustin led his team with five kills and two aces. Teammate Suarez contributed with eight aces. Crowe led the Islanders with four kills.

 

PHOTO GALLERY:

Ryan Soulik of the Geckos gets up high as he makes a hit from backcourt. (photo by Asha Robles)

Ryan Soulik of the Geckos gets up high as he makes a hit from backcourt. (photo by Asha Robles)

Christopher Suarez of the Geckos sets up teammate Devin San Agustin. (photo by Asha Robles)

Christopher Suarez of the Geckos sets up teammate Devin San Agustin. (photo by Asha Robles)

Lester Gaitan of the Geckos sets up teammate Ryan Soulik. (photo by Asha Robles)

Lester Gaitan of the Geckos sets up teammate Ryan Soulik. (photo by Asha Robles)

Karlbert of the Islanders gets up to spike the ball. (photo by Asha Robles)

Karlbert of the Islanders gets up to spike the ball. (photo by Asha Robles)

Islanders’ Karlbert Fabros sets a high volley to keep the ball in play. (photo by Asha Robles.)

Islanders’ Karlbert Fabros sets a high volley to keep the ball in play. (photo by Asha Robles.)

Islanders’ Ian Ilagas helps save the ball to keep it in play. (photo by Asha Robles)

Islanders’ Ian Ilagas helps save the ball to keep it in play. (photo by Asha Robles)

Ryan Soulik of the Geckos gets up high as he makes a hit from backcourt. (photo by Asha Robles)

Ryan Soulik of the Geckos gets up high as he makes a hit from backcourt. (photo by Asha Robles)

Gecko’s Lester Gaitan digs a short ball off of an Islander’s tip. (photo by Asha Robles)

Gecko’s Lester Gaitan digs a short ball off of an Islander’s tip. (photo by Asha Robles)

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The ND Royals have only lost one soccer game in the past four years (2016-2019), which was an early season loss to the St. Paul Warriors in 2019. ND was coming into 2020 as the four-time defending champions.

The ND Royals on their victory lap after defeating the Academy Cougars 3-2 to become four-time IIAAG Girls High School Soccer Champions. (Photo by Michael Blas)

 

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