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EAGLES HOLD STRONG, STAY ATOP OF IIAAG VOLLEYBALL LEAGUE

Harvest staves off St. Paul to remain in top spot

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Harvest Eagles remain atop the IIAAG Boys Volleyball league standings after defeating the St. Paul Warriors in straight sets 25-13, 25-20, 25-23 at the St. Paul Gym.

The Eagles’ game plan was to come out aggressive and have two blockers against St. Paul’s power hitter Rui Ventura.

Ventura continued to collect highlight kills and had a game-high 16 kills in three sets. Despite the outstanding individual performance from Ventura, the Eagles attacked from all angles and played good defense to hold off the Warriors, who pulled off the upset against the FD Friars last week on their home turf.

“The team was talking about how S. Paul just came off beating FD and that was a big win for them,” said Eagles outside hitter Jack Keith. “We knew they were going to come out swinging but we wanted to come out harder and show that we are here to get that top seed.”

Traven Kaae and Keith led the Eagles offensively with Kaae recording 11 kills and Keith contributing nine kills and two aces.

The Warriors pulled off an upset in their previous game, handing the defending champion Friars their second straight loss of the season. The Eagles came prepared knowing the Warriors were dangerous with Ventura’s hitting power and the home crowd.

“Our game plan for Rui (Ventura) was to have two blockers against his back row attacks,” said Keith. “We always have double blockers at the net, but for his back row attacks, we had one blocker at an angle and made him choose his angle.”

First Set
The Eagles start the contest off on fire, surging ahead 6-0 behind a pair of kills from Brian Xia. Kaae finished the set with five kills to help Harvest take the first set 25-13.

Second Set
The Warriors responded to open the second set with a 9-2 lead. Pascual went to Ventura four times to ignite the home crowd back into the game.

The Eagles mount a comeback to tie the game at 11-11 with strong defense and big kills from Keith and Calvin Laxamana.

The Eagles continued their momentum and took their largest lead of the game, 21-18 behind a surprise kill from setter Christian Shinohara. Keith made the final dagger kill to take the second set 25-20.

Third Set
With their backs against the ropes, the Warriors again had a good start and went ahead 5-1 with Hodges recording two kills. The Eagles slowly chipped away at the Warrior lead and went ahead 10-9.

Rueben Lemuel and Xie chalk up kills to put the Eagles up 18-15. Pascual makes a beautiful pancake save, and Ventura follows up with two more kills to tie the game at 20-20.

The Eagles regroup with a Laxamana and Xie recording back-to-back kills to go up 23-20. The Eagles score the final point off a block on Ventura with Xie meeting him at the net to end the game.

St Paul had their runs in the game led by setter Raven Pascual. Nate Hodges had eight kills for the Warriors. The loss drops the Warriors down to fifth place with a 2-4 record.

After losing their season opener to the Friars, the Eagles won six straight games to improve to 6-1. The Eagles will face the St. John’s Knights next to clinch the top seed and home court advantage for the playoffs. 

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All-Island Wrestling Alumni Tournament June 8

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro

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Congratulations @seadancer_bailey

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