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EAGLES HOLD OFF WARRIORS IN 5 SETS

Laxamana powers Harvest past St. Paul

By Jay Leon Guerrero

After dropping their season-opener to the FD Friars in five sets, the Harvest Eagles bounced back and got a crucial home victory over the St Paul Warriors in a five set thriller (20-25, 25-18, 22-25, 25-19, 15-12).

The Eagles are now 1-1 in a competitive IIAAG Boys High School Volleyball League, the Warriors drop their season opener and are 0-1.

Player of the Game: Harvest hitter Calvin Laximana

There are no easy games in the IIAAG Boys Volleyball league. The Eagles will now be put on another test next Tuesday in an away game against the St John’s Knights (1-0). 

Calvin Laxamana tallied up 10 kills and five blocks to help the Eagles improve to 1-1 for the season. Jack Keith led the Eagles in kills with 11. St Paul’s Rui Ventura had a game-high 15 kills and five blocks for the Warriors.

“We had better chemistry in our game tonight. It was a better game (down the stretch) than the game against FD,” said Laxamana.

“The win tonight will boost our mentality, whether it’s a home or an away game, we are going to give it all we got so we can make a run at the championship.”

– Harvest senior Calvin Laxamana

The Eagles have played two games this season, and both games have gone to five sets. Eagles outside hitter Brian Xia said the title is up for grabs.

“We’ve been in two five-set games, and it shows that this year, everybody wants it,” said Xia. Xia said the IIAAG league is deep, and there are many talented teams that are capable of winning the championship.

“We were lucky today because we had our home crowd. They all kept yelling really loud for us,” said Xia. Xia had eight kills and three service aces for the contest.

The Warriors may have dropped their season opener, but they proved the are a team to be reckoned with. 

Game sequence

St. Paul setter Raven Pascual was fired up to start the contest and found Ventura and outside hitter Nate Hodges to help the Warriors win the first set 25-20.

The Warriors went ahead 5-2 to start the second set, but the Eagles countered with a 5-0 run that put them ahead, and they never looked back. Xia came up huge in the second set with four kills to tie the game at 1-1 with Harvest winning the set 25-18.

The Warriors go up 16-9 in the third set with Hodges and middle blocker Jeremy Casey recording two kills each. Ventura gets the final kill as St. Paul holds on to win the third 25-22.

Harvest goes ahead 9-6 to start the fourth set with Keith recording two kills via accurate sets from Christian Shinohara. Shinohara later found Traven Kaae and Laxamana to stay ahead 18-12.

The Warriors do not want to go to a fifth set and mount a comeback with Nick Atoigue and Ventua recording kills during the run to cut the lead to 17-20.

The Eagle crowd rallied their team, and they closed out the fourth set with Keith getting the final kill to win a crucial fourth set 25-19.

In the final set, both teams trade blows, and the game is tied 6-6. The Warriors turn to Ventura, and he records a kill and an ace to go up 8-6.

The Eagles regroup, and Shinohara finds Laxamana to stop the short run. After a Harvest passing error, Raito Atsuta serves an ace, and the Eagles are now up 9-8.

The Eagles later go ahead 13-10 with Keith recording a kill and Laxaman blocking a dink attempt by Pascual.

With Eagles serving match point, Hodges comes up with a block, and the Warriors are trailing 12-14. With Hodges now on the service, Shinohara back sets to Xia on the right side for the final point to give Harvest the hard fought victory.

“This game showed we wanted it more. We struggled to finish our last five set game (vs FD),” said Xia. “We were not complacent this time, we finished strong.”

Hodges had nine kills for the Warriors. The Warriors will play their first home game against the ND Royals. Both teams are stacked with talent and will face off next Tuesday.

In the junior varsity game, Harvest swept the Warriors 25-18, 25-10. 

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ALL PHOTOS by Tanya Gillins

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COMING SOON …

Guam Track & Field National Championship May 26

All-Island Wrestling Alumni Tournament June 8

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro

QUICK HITS

Bailey Concepcion makes it to the Seattle Seahawks dance team for the 2nd straight year.

Congratulations @seadancer_bailey
—————————————–
The St. Paul Warriors are the 2024 IIAAG Boys Middle School Basketball League Champions! The Warriors defeated the 2nd seed Andersen Dragons 60-47 to cap off their undefeated season.
Mario Bork led the Warriors with 20 points in the championship game.

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