By Robert Balajadia
YiPiTe Wins Third GHRA Competitive Title
Team YiPiTe were in the drivers seat heading into the GHRA volleyball finals against UOG needing to win just one game after finishing the season undefeated. What they got though were six gut wrenching sets being forced into the “if” game winning by the thinnest of margins in, including an action filled 3rd set 25-17, 17-25, 29-27 at the UOG Field House Wednesday night.
Make no mistake, the 3rd set was supposed end at 15 points, but the will to win had both teams trading points as YiPiTe and UOG ran up the score.
UOG’s Devin Maluwelmeng smashed home a kill to go up 13-12 as UOG was preparing to upset the two-time defending champions in the “if” game. YiPiTe managed to score a kill but Maluwelmeng answered to get within 14-13, needing just a single point to complete the title takeover.
BJ Balajadia prevented the game from slipping away as UOG would battle until 21 all where YiPiTe took their first lead in the set 22-21.
UOG got lifts from Maluwelmeng and Jarren VIllagomez to go back up 23-22, but Balajadia and the group kept the pressure on the front line eventually turning over a serve that never made it’s way back to give YiPiTe their third straight GHRA title.
“Oh man, we had to use every ounce of whatever we had in our tank. It just shows how committed everyone on our team is. We were so tired, we just needed to do whatever it took to win,” said Balajadia.
The “if” game came along after UOG dominated a third set in the first game after two big blocks up the middle from Villagomez to go up 12-8. The team rallied behind Maluwelmeng to finish off the set to set up the winner takes all final game.
UOG played out all their opportunity though the it took a valiant effort to set get within a point away from winning it all.
Sky Dive Guam Battles Wins Out In “if” Game
The recreational division took a slightly different turn after Sky Dive Guam finally handed the unbeaten GPA squad their first loss to force the “if” game, where they managed to end it 25-21, 28-26.
Chris Shepherd and Goro Borja came up big in both games thought their talents made all the difference in the final set despite giving up a big lead.
GPA battled back while down 22-17 to tie the game at 22. Sky Dive made adjustments in the front line and brought back Shepherd from off the bench to get the game winning shot, going up 28-26.
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