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ISLANDERS ESCAPE ROYALS IN TWO

IIAAG boys volleyball action continued this Tuesday night at the JFK gym with the home team Islanders hosting the ND Royals. The Islanders were able to oust the Royals in two sets while surviving a nail-biting attempt to comeback by the Royals in the second set.

By John Baza

IIAAG boys volleyball action continued this Tuesday night at the JFK gym with the home team Islanders hosting the ND Royals. The Islanders were able to oust the Royals (25-14, 25-23) surviving a nail-biting attempt to comeback by the Royals in the second set.

With the game tied 22-all and the Royals looking force a third set, it was JFK’s Billy Belger who came up clutch as he recorded a kill and a key block to give his team the advantage (24-22).

“First set we were coasting so coach told us just to jump straight and it worked just like that”, replied Belger on delivering the game winning kill and block in the last few plays of the second set.

After an Islander error on the serve, the Royals had a chance once again but a missed hit on the final play proved costly and gave JFK the win for the night.

JFK’s duo of Belger and Wayne Jesus were on point throughout the contest, throwing down a barrage of kills that shook the gym and sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

JFK Islanders Wayne Jesus goes up and over for a kill. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

JFK Islanders Wayne Jesus goes up and over for a kill. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

But the visiting team and their fans showed resilience, with spot on defense as they picked up spike attempts and got blocks when needed.

Action the first set started slow but picked up eventually as the Islanders’ Sakane delivered the first kill to put his team up 6-5, but the Royals’ Kyle Henricksen had an answer on the next play as he fired a kill right through JFK’s blockers to tie it up.

The game seemed to be one that was quite evenly matched as JFK’s attack was apparent throughout the night, but the Royals were prepared on defense, picking up hits and getting blocks courtesy of Henricksen, Jason Javelosa and Ethan Langas.

The JFK Islanders however proved too much for the Royals as Chris Conner, Sakane and Belger sent in a flurry of kills and blocks to cruise to a 25-14 win in the first set.

Second set action was a different story, as the Royals jumped to a 4-1 lead to set the pace.

The Islanders’ Jesus came out in full on attack mode, landing 3 kills in his first 3 hits to help his team regain the lead (5-4).

JFK would go on to steadily hold the lead while also getting 2 straight blocks courtesy of Chino Cruz (10-7).

But the Royals’ Langas and Henricksen got the visiting crowd going with an Impressive block to get their team within distance after a lengthy rally from both sides (10-8).

The remainder of the set saw plenty of see-saw action as both teams battled to seize control of the set. The Royals’ Roland Balajadia and Javelosa were able to pick up several hits from the Islanders heavy hitters, helping their team pick up momentum.

The Islanders would find themselves trailing 17-14 after solid hits from the Royals’ Hance Barcinas and Nathan Sablan in the set helped the visiting team jump to the lead.

But the home team picked up the slack coming out of the timeout as they clawed their way to tie up the contest 22-22, and eventually survive the set for their second victory this season.

“Right now they’re kind of a roller coaster, they have their ups and downs… but if they can stay focused and communicate more and put forth that effort I think we’ll be alright” replied JFK coach Alden Bautista on his team’s focus for the season.

With the win, the Islanders improve to (3-1).

Other Scores

Harvest def. Sanchez 25-16, 25-19
FD def. Tiyan 25-12, 25-21
Okkodo def. Southern 25-23, 25-21 
GW def. St. John’s 25-11, 25-21

PHOTO GALLERY:

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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