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CHEN, EUGENIA ARE EMPRESSES OF THE BEACH

Harvest duo takes All-Island title, Cougars earn team championship

By Carmen Gogue

The IIAAG All-Island Beach Volleyball tournament has ended for the girls division with the Harvest Eagles duo Neisha Chen and Carmen Eugenia defeating Academy Cougars Ariana Cruz and Bella Paulino in three sets 16-21, 21-18, 15-13 at the Dungca’s Beach sand courts Tuesday afternoon.

Cougars Take First Set

IIAAG Beach Volleyball Champions Carmen Eugenia and Neisha Chen (photo by Dj Foster)

Cruz opened the set with a couple of aces to get the momentum going for the Cougars with both Chen and Eugenia suffering hitting errors. Chen redeemed herself with a kill with Cruz returning the favor on the next rally.

With another kill from Chen, it was Eugenia’s turn to serve where she got an ace of her own. Continuing, the remainder of the set, it featured short rallies turning into a battle for the least errors with Cougars Cruz and Paulino coming out with the secured set win at 21-16.

“We kept saying it isn’t over until its actually over. We still had a set we could play and start over,” said Chen.

Eagles Avenge Early Set Loss

In the second set there was less errors from both teams and good volley with the Cougars leading 6-4. Two errors, one each for both teams followed by Chen’s back-to-back kills tied the set 7-7.

“We just thought about getting the next point as the most important. If you keep thinking about the last few plays and mistakes it not going to help your game,” said Eugenia.

Going back and forth from there, Chen and Eugenia were able to take the lead and keep it with smart defense and attacks. As Paulino was called for a hitting error, it put Harvest at set point. While both teams rallied with the Cougars getting next point to hold off the Eagles, Eugenia challenged the initial call forcing the referees to overrule the Cougars point and give Harvest the second set winning point.

“In beach volleyball a block counts as a touch and only two hits remain differing from indoor where a block isn’t counted, and three touches remain for the team. So, from the bottom ref’s perspective, he saw what everyone else saw which was four hits,” said Eagles head coach Tasi Castro.

The third set found all four girls firing kills and serving aces to jockey the advance. Chen provided Harvest a two-point lead from a kill and ace to follow. As Academy began to make service and hitting errors the Eagles led 11-7 but Paulino and Cruz still had a little fight left. A 13-10 Eagles lead showcased great effort from Paulino to keep the Cougars alive with two kills and an ace to put the score 14-13. Unfortunately, Cruz and Paulino came up short with a hitting error to give Chen and Eugenia the title.

All-Island Tournament Standings

1st Place: Neisha Chen, Carmen Eugenia (HCA)

2nd Place: Ariana Cruz, Bella Paulino (AOLG)

3rd Place: Knessa Davis, Ava Ouhadi (SJS)

IIAAG Beach Volleyball (Team) Results

The Academy Cougars are the IIAAG Beach Volleyball Team Champions.

2nd Place: St. Johns Knights

3rd Place: Harvest Eagles

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