ROYALS PUNCH FINALS TICKET OVER BULLDOGS

ROYALS PUNCH FINALS TICKET OVER BULLDOGS

📅14 October 2015
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By Jay Leon Guerrero

Get ready Royal fans, you’re going to the ‘ship. The ND Royals stamped their ticket to the IIAAG Girls Volleyball Championship game scheduled for Saturday after defeating the Okkodo Bulldogs in straight sets (25-14, 25-18, 25-18) in front of their home crowd.

The Royals were flawless Tuesday night and had big time performances from their senior all-star cast to easily dispatch the Bulldogs. 1st Team All-Island seniors Demie Brennan, Sheri Stanley and Destiny Castro (MVP) each contributed to the victory against a talented Bulldog squad.

ND’s head coah Mike Rabago said his senior class has been with him since their sophomore year. “They’ve been together since they were all sophomores and they made it a goal to win a championship. They worked really hard to get to the championship game,” said Rabago.

“We’d like to thank the home crowd and all the parents for their support. It’s been a long time coming; but we want to put up another banner,” added Rabago.

As Rabago made his quote, he pointed up at the championship banners. A series of championship banners were displayed, but the last title for volleyball was in the last century (1996-1997 season). The Royals look to end the 19-year drought.

“It’s been so long since we’ve put a banner up. We are excited to go to the championship and we will do our best against a strong GW team to make our school and family proud,” said Castro.

1st set

The Bulldogs came to play opening up a 5-2 lead behind an emphatic kill from Caren Mesias. The celebration was brief as the Royals regrouped and got a kill from Castro and an ace from Brennan to storm ahead 13-10, forcing Bulldog head coach Dohn So to call a timeout.

Okkodo’s Sirena Cepeda answers So’s plea for defense and comes up with a huge block after the timeout to trail 13-11. Cepeda’s block would be the last big Bulldog play of the set. Stanley stuffed a kill for a block, Castro followed up with two consecutive kills and Mames Blas was clean from the service line to help the Royals secure the 25-14 victory in the opening set.

Wendy's Players of the Game Destiny Castro and Demie Brennan.

Wendy’s Players of the Game Destiny Castro and Demie Brennan.

2nd set

The Bulldogs started the set strong once again, this time getting an ace from Jachelle Saludo and a kill from Nica Mojas to go up 4-0. The Royals calmly chipped their was back into the contest, tying the game at 11-11 behind an ace from Taylor Paulino.

Okkodo’s Jestine Arellano broke the tie with a highlight kill to take the one point advantage. League MVP Castro then decided to take over the game. Castro recorded five kills, including a midair left-handed kill to take the second set 25-18.

3rd set

With their season on the line, the Bulldogs played good defense against the hard hitting Royals. The game went back-and-forth until Okkodo’s Raisa Flores serves an ace to go up 13-10.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Royals continued to play well midway through the set. Sophomore outside hitter Carmen Gogue tied the contest at 13-13 with a kill to start the rally for the Royals. Castro and Katelynn Duenas each recorded kills to go up 20-18, forcing So to call a timeout.

Castro then went up to the service line and put together two aces during a 4-0 rally to put her team up for match point. The Bulldogs received the serve from Castro and looked to set up a kill from the middle. The Bulldog kill was blocked by Stanley to end the Bulldog hopes for a championship. The final block was Stanley’s 6th block of the game.

“We worked hard in practice with our serving, digging and hitting. We wanted them (Okkodo) to move around; to make them work more than we do,” said Stanley. After finishing in 3rd place last season, the Royals will take on the defending champion GW Geckos on Saturday at the FD Phoenix Center.

“I want to thank all the supporters for cheering and motivating us. We wouldn’t be going to the championship without them,” said Castro. Castro had a game high 14 kills for the Royals.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

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Royals Destiny Castro spikes a set up ball as two Bulldogs attempt to block in the 3rd set. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Royals Destiny Castro spikes a set up ball as two Bulldogs attempt to block in the 3rd set. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Norte Dame Royals celebrate after a successful win against the Okkodo Bulldogs ending the Final set. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

The Norte Dame Royals celebrate after a successful win against the Okkodo Bulldogs ending the final set. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Royals Destiny Castro gets a kill to go on single block coverage. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Royals Destiny Castro gets a kill to go on single block coverage. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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Kristi Stone goes up and over for a spike. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Demie Brennan sets up for a serve in the second set. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Demie Brennan sets up for a serve in the second set. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Two ND Royals attempt to block a hit from the Okkodo Bulldog. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Two ND Royals Mames Blas and Sheri Stanley attempt to block a hit from the Okkodo Bulldog. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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