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EAGLES ARE FOR REAL AFTER HANDLING ROYALS

Surprising Harvest soaring at 3-0

By Eriele Salas

The Harvest Eagles proved that they are ripe to win the championship trophy as they won their third game of the 2023 IIAAG Volleyball League season. Harvest secured three straight sets 25-20, 25-21, 25-20 in the match against the Notre Dame Royals Friday night in the Eagles’ Nest. 

Harvest’s Niesha Chen and Madi Moyer were key players in the game. Chen secured seven aces and one kill, while Madi Moyer had one ace, five kills and four blocks. 

1st set

The Eagles came into the game wanting the glory, and they kept the same winning energy from the previous game against the Academy Cougars. The Royals, who came into the game at 1-0, lacked energy in the beginning of the set, had some service errors which put the Eagles ahead in the game. Harvest’s defense was on point, and they managed to receive a few close kills from Notre Dame’s outsides and right sides. Harvest’s Kaelyn McConkay and Chen had harmonious passes to their setter, Patricia Cassidy, who was able to give consistent sets to their middle blocker, Prue Palisoc. 

2nd set

The Eagles already had a win in their minds at the beginning of the game. After a Royal’s off serve, Harvest’s Chen managed to serve four aces consecutively to get a lead. The Royals started getting a feel for the game, and were able to kind of read where they would hit. Royal Arriah Arceo covered almost every ball from the Eagles, whether it was coming her way or not. At one point in the set, the Eagles managed to get a 10-point lead due to the opposing team being out of rotation and having service errors. 

Notre Dame’s Eliana Benevente caught up to Harvest by serving seven solid times. Eventually, the Eagles were losing energy and communicating less just as the Royals were finding their rhythm. “We really just communicated (nearing the end of the set),” said Moyer. If it weren’t for Harvest’s Cassidy, the team wouldn’t be able to cheer up after losing a point. Now for Harvest, it was all or nothing.

3rd set

Notre Dame stepped onto the court with stronger serves, and even some aces from Thomasa Salas, Hannah Guerrero, and Benevente. This didn’t stop Harvest from receiving almost every single ball. The Eagles quickly regained their energy and had the Royals all over the place. With a few kills from Sofie Kongolo, Palisoc, and Moyer, the Eagles fought their way to the top. Although Notre Dame had some good sets, no one was able to kill it or get the ball over the net. 

With Harvest two points away from victory, they allowed Notre Dame to catch up due to being out of rotation. In the end, it didn’t work out on the Royals’ end. Their consistency wouldn’t go on for long enough, as they served out of bounds on the Eagles’ final game point. 

“We definitely have some improving to do, but we’re ready for our next game,” said Chen. 

The Eagles will be taking on the St. John’s Knights back in Harvest’s gym next Tuesday, September 12 at 5:30 p.m. Notre Dame will be facing a new competitor in the league, Guahan Academy, on that same day in their home gym in Talofofo at 5:30 p.m.

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