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KNIGHTS PREVAIL OVER VISITING DOLPHINS

The Southern High Dolphins’ highflying attack came up short as the St. John’s Knights defended their home court with a convincing two-set victory this Tuesday night in another intense volleyball matchup.

By John Baza

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Southern High Dolphins’ highflying attack came up short as the St. John’s Knights defended their home court with a convincing two-set victory (25-15, 25-21) this Tuesday night in another intense volleyball matchup.

The Knight’s defense was on point as coverage of the perimeter made it difficult for Southern’s heavy hitters to garner a kill. The Knights’ libero Fujin Shimoda recorded several highlight digs that excited the crowd.

“I think I played a lot better than I usually do”, replied the humble Shimoda on his performance for the night. “Our coach always tells us ‘ball-setter-ball-hitter’ so I was just reading the hitter and moving to spot”, added Shimoda.

First Set

The Knights were able to quickly go up 5-1 despite Southern’s Ryan Guzman recording the first kill of the contest.

They were able to quickly run up the score and extend their run behind big plays from Arvin Flores and Aaron Lee (11-6).

The Dolphins’ Phil Jardaleza was in full on attack mode as he recorded a pair of kills to close the gap, but serves from the Knights’ Flores and a block courtesy of Gen Fudo kept the visitors at bay (15-9).

A strong hit from Southern’s Teologo nearly resulted in a kill until St. John’s Shimoda picked up the hit, that would eventually lead to a point for the Knights after a Dolphins net violation (18-9) forcing a timeout.

Coming out of the timeout, Southern’s Guzman connected with the set for another kill (18-10) but not long after, the Knights’ Isaac Sim stepped up for a monster block that put his team up (22-10), with the home team eventually taking the first set 25-15.

Second Set

The Knights came out strong in the second, jumping to a (6-0) lead.

image001Shimoda wowed the fan as he was able to dig two straight hits from the Dolphins, until Southern’s Seth Surber snuck in a backset that dropped on the Knights’ territory, giving the Dolphins their first point of the half.

Trailing (13-2) the Dolphins were able to score 3 points in a run, highlighted by another kill by Guzman and a block from Ethane Cruz.

The Knights’ Aaron Lee made a huge impact in the set, pestering the Dolphins’ defense with kills from all angles.

“I just focused on setting up and swinging as hard as I could… they were blocking a lot of our hits but I just stayed focused and kept swinging”, replied Lee on the focus for his performance tonight.

His attack helped the home team take a commanding 20-15 lead late in the set.

But the Dolphins didn’t back down to the pressure, as Jardaleza was determined to bring his team back into it, hammering down several kills in the final possessions (23-20).

But just as the Dolphins seemed to pick up the pace, the Knights ended their run as Lee sent in a hit that rolled down the middle blockers for the game point, which would eventually result in the (25-21) victory and the Knights’ second win this far.

With the win, the Knights improve to 2-4.

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)

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