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CAMACHO SHINES IN WIN OVER EAGLES

Nothing was slowing down the GW Geckos and Allen “Arm Cannon” Camacho on senior night as the star flourished in his final regular season home game in a big win over the visiting Harvest Eagles.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Allen Ray “Arm Cannon” Camacho came up big when he need too and satisfied his fans dressed in purple “Allen Ray #28” shirts on his last IIAAG Boys Volleyball regular season game at GW. It was senior night and Camacho came up big during crucial moments to help the Geckos defeat the Harvest Eagles in straight sets (25-15, 25-21) on their home court.

“This game was important to us because we wanted to secure a higher seed for the playoffs,” said Camacho. The Eagles and Geckos came into the contest with even 8-1 records, the winner of the game would likely secure a second seed and home court advantage should they meet again in the second round of the playoffs.

The game started with the Eagles looking uncomfortable playing at GW with the low ceilings. The Eagles committed eight unforced errors in the first game and the Geckos took full advantage, winning 25-15.

Isiah Lagutang had two kills in the first set for the Eagles, helping his team cut the early Gecko lead down to five points. The Geckos did not let the Eagles get into any rhythm and called upon middle blockers Devin San Agustin and Mathew Soto to close out the game during a 7-2 run. GW’s setter Christopher Suarez was accurate with his sets during the run, going to the tall duo who towered over the Eagle blockers during the decisive run.

Allen "Arm Cannon" Camacho digs a serve with his family noticeably behind him. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Allen “Arm Cannon” Camacho digs a serve with his family noticeably behind him. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

In the second set, the Geckos celebrated an early 3-0 lead due to unforced Eagle errors. The Eagles quickly regrouped and setter Marlon Evans went to outside hitter Alex Wu for a kill to get the Eagle fans cheering. Misaki Cramer served an ace to give the Eagles their first lead of the night to go up 9-8.

Both teams went back-and-forth with Camacho and Kyle Gaitan recording kills for the Geckos and Lagutang, Brandon McAuslen, and Ben Weigand scoring kills for the Eagles as the teams were deadlocked at 19-19.

Geckos close out

The Geckos got four straight points with Soto behind the service line to take claim momentum. During the run, Soto served an ace and the “Arm Cannon” came up big with two emphatic kills. “It wasn’t a set play or anything like that, I just shouted for Suarez to have the sets come my way” said Camacho.

McAuslen ended the Gecko 4-0 run with an outside kill, Lagutang followed up with a kill of his own to trail 21-23. But the “Arm Cannon” did not want to play a third set and delivered a thunderous kill to have the Geckos serving for game point. The Geckos played good defense on the final play and Suarez found San Agustin in the middle for the final kill of the game to win 25-21.

GW Geckos Mat Soto gets up and over the net for a kill. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

GW Geckos Mat Soto gets up and over the net for a kill. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Gecko faithful chanted “MVP-MVP” after Camacho notched each kill in crucial moments of the second set. Camacho had a game high 7 kills for the Geckos who improve to 9-1 and will meet JFK next Tuesday in their final game of the season. If they win that game, they will clinch home court advantage for the quarterfinals and semi-finals in the single elimination IIAAG playoffs. The championship game will be played at the Calvo Field House according to IIAAG President Marty Boudreau.

There is a big possibility that these teams will meet up again in the semi-finals. Camacho said that although his team won in straight sets, there are still some areas of their game they need to address. “If we meet up against the Eagles again, we will continue to do most things the same but we do need to work on our serving,” said Camacho.

Suarez had a game high 3 aces for the Geckos, San Agustin had 5 kills. Evans had 5 kills and 6 blocks for the Eagles, McAuslen also recorded 6 blocks. Lagutang contributed 4 kills for the Eagles who fall to 8-2.

In the junior varsity game, the Geckos are one win away from a title and a perfect season after defeating the Eagles’ JV team in straight sets (25-19, 25-20). The Geckos improve to 9-0 and will face the Islanders in their finale. The Eagles’ JV season is over, they finish with a 6-4 record.

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