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By Robert Balajadia
The coolest pair of high school cats took the court Tuesday evening with the (3-1) home team Academy Cougars and (2-1) Guam High Panthers squaring off. The Cougars bested the Panthers in two sets 25-19, 25-14 to improve their standing.
Orchestrating the Cougar attack was Wendy’s player of the game Mya Sanchez, who also had a healthy night at the service line producing seven points off her serving.
Sanchez, the setter, played her part in the early goings getting her teammates Amara Borja and Lauren Hoebing in prime position for kills in both sets.
“Volleyball is really a mental sport. I always have to find the connection with my hitters and get a feel for the kind of rhythm that they’re in. Today I was able to get my teammates going,” said Sanchez on her overall performance.
Errors plagued Guam High in the second set, committing eight unforced errors to the Cougars three. Hoebing sparked the offense early collecting three kills within the first 10 points, and two more before games end giving her five in the set.
Panthers middle blocker Britney Bailey had a couple of outstanding blocks in the set, but all for naught as the Panthers couldn’t cut back into a single digit deficit once the Cougars took a commanding 19-9 lead off a kill from Uriyah Tobiason.
Despite falling behind 7-1 in the first set, the Cougars never cowered. With Sanchez at the serving helm, the Cougars shaved a 9-2 deficit to 9-7. Academy was able to take their first lead 11-10 from Borja’s serve ace, and they never looked back.
Sanchez and middle blocker Joie Blas were relentless in closing out the first set with the pair getting a kill each to take a 22-19 lead. Guam High committed a pair of errors that gave the home team the first set and momentum.
The Cougars nine errors in the first set dramatically changed in the final set where they only committed three.
“Our attitude and our confidence changed,” said Sanchez on the difference between first and second set. “The ambiance changed and we got an extra push from our bench and our fans.”
Academy improves to (4-1), riding a four game win streak since their season opening loss to the GW Geckos. Guam High falls to (2-2) on the season after winning their season opener against the Harvest Eagles.
GW def. JFK 25-11, 25-16
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