RAIDERS CLAIM VOLLEYBALL TOP SPOT

RAIDERS CLAIM VOLLEYBALL TOP SPOT

📅09 December 2014
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By Robert Balajadia

The St. Anthony Lady Raiders volleyball team (7-1) needed to win Tuesday night to secure sole possession of first place, and they did just that after dropping the (5-3) Santa Barbara Spartans in two sets 25-14, 25-16.

While rocking Christmas holiday socks, the Raiders were able to jump out to large leads in the both sets after strong serving produced runs that gave them momentum.

Battling in a close first set with the Spartans leading 6-5, Raiders Jackie Martinez then took over shaving off six straight points for her team as St. Anthony jumped out to an 11-6 lead. Spartans Mariana Tamayo had a hand on a kill that brought the Spartans back to get within 13-10, and errors by the Raiders added to the short Spartan run at 13-12.

Raiders Nicole Gandaoli then squashed the run with a pair of aces that turned into an 18-13 lead for the Raiders as they began to pull away. Raiders Rayven Benavente served up four straight points and Isabel Itliong-Cruz handed out the final kills to close out the first at 25-15.

Ashley Gonzales of the Lady Raiders gets up to slam a spike over the net.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Ashley Gonzales of the Lady Raiders gets up to slam a spike over the net. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Dharma Cooper served the Spartans to an early 4-1 lead in the second set, though the Raiders settled down midway through to recapture the lead with Gandaoli at the helm. Back-to-back aces by Gandaoli got the Raiders a 7-5 lead and they wouldn’t look back.

Combined with errors by the Spartans, Itliong-Cruz cashed in on two kills that gave the Raiders a 16-11 lead. More errors allowed the Raiders to climb up to 20-12, capped off by an Itliong-Cruz ace.

Laressa Halladay gave the Spartans a brief spark for three straight points to cut the lead 22-15, but Raiders Monica Giger had her hand on the final point of the season for St. Anthony, getting a kill to land dead center of the Spartan defense to end the game 25-16 and secure first place.

The Raiders take first place over the St. John’s Knights as they hold the tie-breaker after defeating the Knights, giving them their only loss of the season, in a big game last Thursday.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Jaqueline Martinez of the Lady Raiders scores six points in a row from the serving position in the first set.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Jaqueline Martinez of the Lady Raiders scores six points in a row from the serving position in the first set. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Ashley Mindiola gets a spike past Patricia Halladay.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Ashley Mindiola gets a spike past Patricia Halladay. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Raina Patague of the Spartans blasts a spike over to the Lady Raiders.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Raina Patague of the Spartans blasts a spike over to the Lady Raiders. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

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