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LIBERATION VOLLEYFEST OPENS WEEK-LONG TOURNEY

Island’s best come out for summer action

By Nick Akimoto

This Monday marked the opening of the 2nd Liberation Volleyfest hosted by the Guam Volleyball Federation. The week-long tournament features some of the islands’ heaviest hitters and highest flyers competing in pool-play until the playoffs to decide the winners of each division on the final day of the tournament. 

Tournament organizers Steven and Dee Pangelinan and Rich Borja have been planning the tournament since the end of the last volleyfest. 

“I think the turnout is really good this year. There are a few more teams than we had last year. This has been on our mind since last year. The typhoon hit, but fortunately allowed us just enough time to recover and still run it, so I’m grateful that the timing worked out. A lot of these guys haven’t been through a big typhoon, so I think this is a good release,“ said Steven Pangelinan on holding the annual tournament after the Super Typhoon Mawar. 

The first day showcased a full-slot of men’s division competition, including a matchup between the Guam National Team against Team Xander which featured many notable volleyball names such as Wes Keith, Xander Duenas, and Mason Caldwell. Both the men’s national team and junior national team finished the day with victories in all of their games. 

“We’re happy to see the island getting back on its feet. We know the people of Guam are resilient. It’s nice to see the volleyball community come out and support the Volleyball Federation. For me, the biggest thing is to see the younger players come out and develop. The skill level is amazing. I can’t wait to see our neni’s exhibition matches,” said Tournament Director and National Team Coach, Rich Borja. 

“Being on staff for the Men’s national team, I’m looking forward to seeing how our guys do in competition. We’ve been in a closed gym for a long time, haven’t really seen much competition in a few months, so I want to see how they do,” said Borja. 

Tomorrow will mark the beginning of women’s pool play and the days after will see a mix of play from the men, women, and youth divisions to determine seeding for playoffs. The tournament also holds a co-ed division, which will see players from either men’s or women’s division play together, and allow for much anticipated matchups against the island’s biggest volleyball names. 

“The fiercest competition is probably going to be our co-ed division. Some of the teams that are coming out are the who’s-who of men’s and women’s,” said Borja.

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COMING SOON …

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