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KNIGHTS SWEEP BEACH VBALL CROWNS

St. John’s reigns supreme in high school beach volleyball

By Erielle Salas

The St. John’s Red teams had an outstanding night as both their girls and boys squads took home the All-Island Beach Volleyball Championship. They put up an exceptional fight against the Academy Cougars and Guam Adventist Angels at the GFA Sand Courts on Thursday. The opposing teams did not make it easy, as both games finished in three sets. 

Girls Match 

SJS Red Shihori Fujisaki (L) and Cyerra Lauron take home the All Island girls Beach Volleyball Championship

The Cougars came up close in the first set, but the Knights were able to push to win the first set. The Knights’ close line shots were a vital strategy in order to earn them points. St. John’s did give up one set to Academy, losing by just two points. Academy’s Ariana Cruz served four straight times, which gave her team an advantage.

The second set was a back-and-forth affair with Academy’s Isabella Paulino serving up the set-winning point to force a third and final set.

St. John’s Shihori Fujisaki served five winners in a row, to giving her team the upper hand. The Cougars managed to catch up, but not enough to wear out the Knights. St. John’s Cyerra Lauron had the honor of serving on championship point, and after Academy’s bad pass, the Knights were champions.

“We knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy game, especially because it’s the championship. So we really just focused on pushing and finishing strong, and executing our skills,” Fujisaki said. It was a long, hard fight for both teams, but the cheers from the crowd was motivating. “No matter the score, no matter the point, just keep fighting through, and trust your teammate,” Lauron said. Trust and communication are key to having a good partnership when playing on the court. 

Boys Match 

SJS Red Zeke Sablan (L) and Aidan Johnson take home the All Island boys Beach Volleyball Championship

St. John’s started off strong in the first set with Zeke Sablan serving six times in a row. This was major in giving them their first set.

The Knights and Angels did not disappoint the crowd with a display of hustle plays. The teams stayed tied until the Angels upped their game and covered every ball coming their way.

GAA’s Jack Keith served four straight, and with Kana Sgambelluri’s blocks, the Angels took the lead. Knights Aidan Johnson did make a comeback with his serves, but the Angels would keep fighting until they eventually won the last point of set two. Like the girls team, they also went to a third set.

St. John’s took the lead for their final set and was up by three. The Angels caught up, but thanks to Johnson’s aces, he managed to get ahead of GAA.

St. John’s short and deep shots came in handy as they gave GAA a run for their money. Sablan would then finish the game and win the ‘ship with his five straight serves. 

“We were both a little bit nervous, but I think we both knew it was coming,” said Sablan. The Knights had a great opportunity to win the championship on Sablan’s serve, and luckily they did.

“I was pretty emotional and it really meant a lot, but it felt great,” said Johnson. 

1st Place Girls Match

St. John’s Red (Shihori Fujisaki/Cyerra Lauron) def. Academy’s White (Ariana Cruz/Isabella Paulino) 21-17, 19-21, 15-9

1st Place Boys Match 

St. John’s Red (Aidan Johnson/Zeke Sablan) def. Guam Adventist (Jack Keith/Kana Sgambelluri) 21-8, 18-21, 15-4

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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

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