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BULLDOGS IMPROVE TO 2-1 OVER ISLANDERS

The Okkodo Lady Bulldogs bounced back after an opening set loss and survived the intense heat conditions to win in three sets over the home team JFK Islanders in the IIAAG girls volleyball league Tuesday night.

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By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Okkodo Lady Bulldogs bounced back after an opening set loss and survived the intense heat conditions to win in three sets (23-25, 25-17, 25-11) over the home team JFK Islanders in the IIAAG girls volleyball league Tuesday night.

Okkodo senior Nica Mojas earned the Wendy’s Player of the Game honors after she recorded five kills in the second set, which stole momentum away from the home team.

Facing another early deficit in the second set, Mojas helped the Bulldogs take their first lead of the match. Mojas’ stellar play on both offense and defense gave her squad the confidence to finish the contest with the victory.

Opening set

The Islanders came out fighting, with good passes and defense, to take an early lead. Anita Onedera served up an ace for the Islanders to go up 9-3 which forced the Bulldogs into a timeout.

Jestyne Sablan helped the Bulldogs trim their deficit with her third kill of the opening set to trail just 17-13. The Bulldogs’ Danielle Robles later served an ace followed by teammate Caitlin Cabrera smashed kill to tie the game at 19-19.

The Islanders regrouped during crunch time and limited their errors to go ahead 22-21 in a seesaw battle. Middle blocker Regine Tugade scored her first kill of the match to win a side out to go up 23-21. Ericca Tomada secured the first set victory for the home team with a kill to take the first set 25-23.

Anita Onedera opened up the second set with back-to-back kills from the left side to put the Islanders up 2-0. Islander setter Kaitlin Blaz continued to set up her teammates to maintain a slim 9-7 lead.

Bulldogs, Mojas steal momentum

Wendy's Player of the Game: Captain of the Lady Bulldogs, Nica Mojas, lead her team to victory with aces and spikes.

Wendy’s Player of the Game:  Bulldogs Captain Nica Mojas

The 9-7 lead for the Islanders was their last after Mojas took over with a kill for a side out and then marched to the service line for back-to-back aces for the Bulldogs 17-15 lead.

Mojas and Robles continued to lead the Bulldogs on offense with kills to extend their lead to a half dozen points. Okkodo’s Sirena Cepeda blocked the final attempt at an Islander comback to secure the 25-17 victory to force a third and final set.

In the decisive set, Jachelle Saludo served a pair of aces to help the Bulldogs stun the Islanders for the early 6-0 lead. The Islanders were unable to recover, trailing 14-3 after committing four unforced errors in the crucial final set.

Onedera and Tomada tried to spearhead an Islander comeback, but the deficit was too large. The Bulldogs cruised to a 25-11 victory for their second straight victory.

“We weren’t getting our serves inbounds in the first set, so we were more focused at putting the ball in play in the second set,” said Mojas.

Mojas said the Bulldogs gradually gained their confidence and played better team ball in the second and third set.

“We had better communication after the first set.”

Mojas said the Islanders came out strong and put more effort to start the game.

“They were running after the ball, that’s something we didn’t do. We gave up on some plays mid-air while they continued to run after every ball,” said Mojas who admired the Islander hustle.

Mojas finished with 7 kills, 3 aces and 3 saves for the Bulldogs. Sablan had 6 kills, an ace and a block for the Bulldogs who face the Harvest Eagles at home on Friday.

Narissa Blaz led the Islanders with 5 kills, Onedera and Tomada had 4. The Islanders are still in search for their first win, they will face the Southern Dolphins on Friday at their home court.

Other Scores

Academy def. Sanchez 25-19, 28-26
Harvest def. Tiyan 25-12, 25-21
St. Paul def. St. John’s
ND def. GAA

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Regine Tugade spikes down the ball past the Bulldogs defense to score one for the Islanders.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Regine Tugade spikes down the ball past the Bulldogs defense to score one for the Islanders. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Kaitlin Blaz sets up the ball for teammate, Mai Canales, to follow up with a spike.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Kaitlin Blaz sets up the ball for teammate, Mai Canales, to follow up with a spike. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Eyes focused as Narissa Blaz prepares to serve the ball.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Eyes focused as Narissa Blaz prepares to serve the ball. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Caitlin Cabrera dives for the ball in an attempt to save it from going out of bounds.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Caitlin Cabrera dives for the ball in an attempt to save it from going out of bounds. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Sirena Cepeda smashes the ball to Islander territory and scores a point for the Bulldogs.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Sirena Cepeda smashes the ball to Islander territory and scores a point for the Bulldogs. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Game faces on as both Bulldogs' Danielle Robles and Islanders' Ericca Tomada wait to start.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Game faces on as both Bulldogs’ Danielle Robles and Islanders’ Ericca Tomada wait to start. (photo by Daniel Paran)

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