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17U END VOLLEYBALL TOURNEY ON HIGH NOTE

The Guahan Soldiers 17-and-under Boys’ Junior National Vollayball team ended the 2015 Boys Junior National Volleyball Championships on a high note winning three straight matches to close out the tournament.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Guahan Soldier 17-and-under Boys Junior National Volleyball team ended the 2015 Boys Junior National Volleyball Championships on a high note winning three straight matches to close out the tournament.

A stacked squad of high school prospects traveled to Columbus Ohio, to go up against the Nation’s best players in the annual event. The team had some shining moments during the tournament, but were unable to upset the higher ranking teams with taller lineups. According to assistant coach Richard Borja, there were some players as tall as 6’10” at the tournament.

Here is the Guam delegation that traveled to Columbus, Ohio for the National Championships:
Ada, Herman – Chaperone
Borja, Richard – Assistant Coach
Guzman, Lorraine – Chaperone
Pangelinan, Doris – Team Manager
Pangelinan, Steven – Head Coach
Ada, Eric – player
Diego, Kyler – player
Ferrara, Aiden – player
Gary, Aromin – player
Gonzales, Tristan – player
Guzman, Ryan – player
Henricksen, Kyle – player
Pangelinan, Logan – player
San Agustin, Devin – player
Santos, Rai – player

San Agustin for the kill, Ryan Guzman (14) and setter Rai Santos (34) hold their positions. (courtesy photo)

San Agustin for the kill, Ryan Guzman (14) and setter Rai Santos (34) hold their positions. (courtesy photo)

After two days of competition, Guahan Soldier managed to stay at a .500 winning percentage with a 4-4 win/loss record. According to Borja, this was the second year they sent a team to the tournament and they finished around the 51st place out of 57 teams last year.

“It’s definitely a big improvement from last year,” said Borja.

After pool play games, the Guam team was placed in the Flight 3 bracket in a single elimination playoff format.

“We were placed in Flight 3 based on our record, we had to win all three games to be declared Flight 3 winners,” said Borja. The powerhouse teams were placed in higher Flights based on their record.

Soldiers step up big in final day

Team Guam, sponsored by Guahan Soldier for Life, started the final day of the tournament with a straight set win over the Diablo Black team from California (25-14, 25-17). Guam advanced to play the semi-finals against the Cinci Thunder Boys for Cincinnati, Ohio, and won (26-24, 25-23) to advance to the championship game.

In the Flight 3 championship game, Guam defeated South Carolina’s Evolution 17 squad in straight sets (25-19, 25-22). Ryan Guzman, a 17-year-old outside hitter from Southern High, said that his team was happy to have a good finish in a big stage tournament.

“We beat some really tough teams, this was an excellent overall experience. It’s a great feeling to know you are defending your island, playing for Guam is an honor,” said Guzman.

Although Guam did not win the overall tournament championship, they walk away with a strong performance and some hardware for winning their Flight.

According to Guzman, the experience allowed the team to go against world class level talent and they learned in every step of their journey. “Well, we now know that we can hang with the other teams. Coming into future tournaments, we will have more confidence when we play big teams,” said Guzman.

Coach Borja along with head coach Steve Pangelinan guided the young team. The coaches said they would like to thank their sponsors Guahan Soldier for Life and Synergy Studios for their support.

“We learned so much from this experience and we would like to also thank our coaches and parents for all of their support,” said Guzman.

Devin San Agustin and Gary Aromin (left) combine for the block. (courtesy photo)

Devin San Agustin and Gary Aromin (left) combine for the block. (courtesy photo)

 

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