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KNIGHTS MAKE EARLY SEASON STATEMENT

The Knights take out the Warriors in two sets.

By Patrick Lujan

It’s only the opening weekend of the IIAAG Girls Volleyball League, but the St. John’s Knights made an early season statement with a 25-17, 25-20 Saturday night win over the St. Paul Warriors at home.

After winning the preseason tournament, the Knights continued their momentum against a talented Warriors squad.

Junior setter Hana Fernandez set the tone for the St. John’s offense, running the plays with precision while sophomore outside hitter Hallie Wigsten powered the Knights with eight kills.

“[Hana] did a great job running the offense and getting the hitters involved. [Hallie] was swinging with confidence against a very good St. Paul block,” said Knights coach Chris Shepherd.

The Knights had 23 kills on the night as opposed to 13 for the Warriors.

“Overall, I’m very pleased with our team effort. It is very early in the season an we have a lot to improve upon,” continued Shepherd.

Wendy’s Players of the Game Caitlyn Nui and Hallie Wigsten

1ST SET

It was a feel-out process for both teams before St. John’s pulled away from an 8-8 tie to go on a 10-2 run, capped off by Wigsten’s third kill finding an opening in the middle of the St. Paul defense.

The deficit was far too much for the Warriors to bounce back.

“They played very consistent volleyball,” St. Paul coach Al Garrido said about the Knights. “When it comes down to winning close games the most consistent team will usually win the game.”

2ND SET

The Warriors had some life early on, jumping to a 3-0 lead behind the strong net play of Niah Siguenza. It was short lived, however, as the Knights rolled back with five unanswered points.

The game went to an 11-11 draw before St. John’s went on another big run. Lone senior on the Knights starting lineup Caitlyn Niu was instrumental during the run with a couple of kills.

Wigsten had the cross court kills going in the second set, leading her team with five of the 12 kills. Niu added four kills.

The game ended when St. Paul’s Siguenza hit into the net.

“I really am proud of our team’s progress,” Garrido added about the Warriors. “We are only in the second year of our program and they are growing leaps and bounds. Patience and reflection will be key.”

KNIGHTS def. WARRIORS 25-17, 25-10

1st Set
Unforced errors: SP 4, SJ 3. Service errors: SP 5, SJ 1. Kills: SP 9 (Senne 4, Siguenza 3, Giger 2); SJ 11 (Wigsten 3, Mathews 3, Niu 2, Del Carmen, Fernandez, Shepherd). Aces: SP 2 (Lopez, Siguenza), SJ 5 (Del Carmen 2, Mathews 2, Shepherd). Blocks: SP 1 (Giger), SJ 0.

2nd Set
Unforced errors: SP 7, SJ 6. Service errors: SP 3, SJ 6. Kills: SP 4 (Siguenza 3, Calvo); SJ 12 (Wigsten 5, Niu 4, Fernandez, Shepherd). Aces: SP 2 (Lopez, Senne), SJ 3 (Shepherd 2, Niu). Blocks: SP 2 (Siguenza, Quintanilla), SJ 0. Referees: Hattig, Surber. T: 38 min.

OTHER SCORES
JFK def. Sanchez 17-25, 25-15, 25-20
Harvest def. Guam High 25-12, 25-23
Okkodo def. Tiyan 23-25, 25-22, 25-23

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COMING SOON …

  • YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE KICKOFF June 4
  • Todd Gurley Football Camp on Andersen
  • GSPN Boys Volleyball All-Star Game
  • Pacific Mini-Games in Saipan

QUICK HITS

Sisters CiMara-Lei (10th) and CiHara-Lei (9th) Wessling both made the Academic All-District Team playing for Veterans Memorial High softball team in Converse, TX.
They are the daughters of former star quarterback and pitcher Chris ‘Cool Breeze’ Wessling and wife Missy.
CiMara-Lei was also named the league’s Newcomer of the Year after the family moved from Dallas to San Antonio.
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Austia Mendiola made it to the California state pairs finals in collegiate beach volleyball before losing to Monterey Peninsula.
Playing for San Diego Mesa College, Mendiola and her partner made it to the finals out of 32 top women’s college teams in the state.

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