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EAGLES COME UP BIG AGAINST KNIGHTS, SWEEP IN THREE

Harvest hands St. John’s second loss of the week

By Eriele Salas

The Harvest Eagles were on fire as they showed dominance in their match against the St. John’s Knights Friday night in the Knights gym. Eagles Madi Moyer and Sofie Kongolo were instrumental in their team’s road to victory with a combined set of eight kills, four blocks and two aces. The Eagles won in straight sets 26-24, 25-23, 25-21.

Wendy’s Players of the Game: Madi Moyer & Sofie Kongolo were instrumental in the Eagles road victory.

It was the Knights’ second loss in three days. St. John’s entered the week unbeaten at 7-0, but lost to the Academy Cougars on Tuesday. Academy, St. John’s and Harvest are all now 7-2 atop the IIAAG Girls Volleyball League. 

Only one regular season game is left on Tuesday before the playoffs begin next Friday.

1st set

The Knights had an early lead on the Eagles, with Knessa Davis obtaining four kills on the Eagles. St. John’s setter Ella Wigsten played a crucial part in assisting her teammates Jia Peters, Alexa Espaldon and Shihori Fujisaki to get some kills on the opposing team as well. The Eagles got off to a rocky start, mainly with their hits going out of bounds. Eventually, they gained their momentum with Talia San Nicolas and Niesha Chen scoring four kills combined. 

Although Harvest’s defense wasn’t there for most of the half, they managed to catch up which brought them to a deuce.

“(Harvest’s student section) brought up our spirits when we were down,” said Kongolo as it’s what helped them push through to win the first of the three sets. 

2nd set 

Bringing that same winning energy from the previous set, the Eagles were confident to win this one. Still, the Knights didn’t give up, especially on their defense’s key player, Jada Ada-Vibar (libero). St. John’s had their fair share of kills and blocks from Davis, Joynn Lin and Ha’ani Byerly. For both teams, the defense itself left the crowd of Eagles and Knights supporters on the edge of their seats. The Knights did have a lead at some point, but thanks to Harvest’s Kaelyn McConkay’s defense, the opposing team were unable to kill the ball. 

Harvest knew St. John’s were going to be a challenging team to face, but they didn’t let that intimidate them. “As we stepped on the court, we just let that bad energy go, and we all just brought our A-game,” said Kongolo. 

Now, with the 2-set lead, the Harvest Eagles were determined to finish what they started. 

3rd set

After losing the first two sets, the Knights managed to get their rhythm back to give Harvest a tough time. St John’s Wigsten and Peters were key on the defensive line as the Eagles attempted to kill the ball on them. Harvest setter Patricia Cassidy was consistent in getting sets to her teammates, in which they secured a combined eight kills. Knights Davis, Wigsten and Ava Ouhadi had also secured seven kills all together. St John’s Davis had one last kill on Harvest’s game point which gave them a slight advantage, but because of a hitting error from them, the Eagles were dubbed the winners of the match. 

Harvest’s Moyer says her team is confident in bringing home the trophy, but they don’t want to jinx anything just yet, as the Knights still have a place in the playoffs bracket. 

Harvest will be taking on the Guam High Panthers in the Eagles’ gym on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. St. John’s will be facing the Notre Dame Royals in the Knights gym again on the same day at the same time in the final regular season night.

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