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FRIARS FIGHT OFF EAGLES IN FIVE SET THRILLER, WIN 6TH STRAIGHT IIAAG TITLE

FD, GW to meet this Sunday for battle to be Champion of Champions

By Carmen Gogue

The Father Duenas Friars are the IIAAG Boys Volleyball Champions once again after fighting off their rivals of the past five years, the Harvest Eagles in a nail biting five setter 25-19, 25-21, 24-26, 17-25, 15-10 at the St. John’s gym. This year’s title victory marks the sixth straight IIAAG crown for FD as their dynasty remains high, mighty, and intact.

Junior outside hitter David Del Carmen put on an MVP-like show recording a game-high 18 kills coming from various positions on the court to lead FD to their sixth consecutive title against the Eagles.

“Harvest is a really good team, they brought a good game to us tonight, but I think we were more prepared”.

– David Del Carmen

The St. John’s gym was filled to max capacity since the consolation game prior with even more fans lined up as they waited to be let into an already jam-packed building. The Friar Nation and Eagle fan base were locked in for what was a three-hour thriller ready to cheer on their teams.

First Set

The Friars started off the game serving and with the Eagles ready for the return, setter Caleb Judicpa chose Devin Paulin who was flying in fast on the right side to fire a bullet to the Friars defense for the first kill of the night. One service error for both teams was the start of back-and-forth action at the net between the two heavy artillery teams.

With both teams having a well-balanced offense they exchanged leads up until 8-8. Jacob Toves and Del Carmen provided the Friars two kills and with an Eagles failed attack, FD was up by three at 11-8. Still fighting to hold on, Eagles Jack Keith and Paulin collected a few kills but the very versatile FD offense was too much to handle as Hoben Barcinas, Del Carmen, and Noah Cruz each nailed down kills while Joseph Mafnas protected the net setting up for vicious blocks on defense to take the first set 25-19.

Second Set

Rolling with the first set win, the Friars continued to dominate at the net with Del Carmen who collected six kills total for this set. Toves, Barcinas and Mafnas also contributed with lead increasing plays to put FD up 10-4 and forcing Harvest to make a slew of hitting errors to create a 15-4 deficit. Paulin and Keith worked effortlessly to revive their teams energy hitting a few shots here and there but before they knew it FD was up 20-14. The Eagles caught a breather from a few FD errors until Del Carmen, Mafnas, and Cruz turned it up a notch to take the second set 25-21.

Third Set

Down two sets to none, the Eagles once again proved they don’t give up easily as they battled to stay neck and neck with the Friars. Neither team secured a wide enough lead to gain an advantage with successful attacks and similar errors coming from both ends of the court reaching 24-24 having to win by deuce. A missed FD spike and a kill from middle blocker Tai Castro sealed the third set win for the Eagles at 26-24.

Fourth Set

Gaining a boost of confidence from the third set, the Eagles came out fired up in the fourth with Keith, Christian Shinohara, and Jacob Ji to comfortably lead 17-10. Even though making their own faults, Harvest managed to stay within a winning lead at 22-16. The Friars then experienced a tough downfall as right-side hitter Hoben Barcinas suffered an ankle injury pulling him from the rest of the match. Attempting to recoup, the Friars fell short as the Eagles secured the fourth set 25-17.

Fifth Set

In the final set, the lead changed hands multiple times reaching 9-8 with FD leading by one. Del Carmen soared in for a table turning kill to spark the fire for his team. FD went on to score three gut wrenching kills by Saul Bamba, Cruz, and Christian Guerero to lead 13-8 just two points away from winning the title.

Paulin registered a kill with Bamba hammering down another in response to put the score at 14-9. An FD service error had no effect as Bamba bounced up high sending an unreturnable shot to steal the title with a bang at 15-10.

Team Stats

Father Duenas

Kills: 44 (Del Carmen 18, Mafnas 9, Barcinas 5, Bamba 5, Cruz 4, Toves 3)

Aces: 3 (Toves 2, Del Carmen)

Blocks: 9 (Mafnas 5, Toves, Cruz, Del Carmen, Guerrero)

Harvest

Kills: 40 (Paulin 12, Keith 10, Shinohara 8, Ji 4, Castro 3, Thompson 2, Judicpa)

Aces: 2 (Judicpa, Shinohara)

Blocks: 3 (Shinohara, Thompson, Paulin)

GSPN Champion vs Champion

The Friars will move on to face the ISA Boys Volleyball Champions, the George Washington Geckos in the annual GSPN Champion vs Champion game 6 pm on Sunday, May 18 at the John F. Kennedy Gym.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO BY:

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COMING SOON …

4th Quarter Post Season

Boys Volleyball Champion v Champion on May 19

QUICK HITS

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.
—————————————–
Sad News: Guam’s basketball community received word that long-time coach Gerrard ‘Gerry’ Barnes succumbed to cancer and passed away on May 7. 
Coach Barnes led the heralded Andersen Bombers from the 1980’s until recent years.
He also coached the Guam national team and at Simon Sanchez.
Coach Barnes was 73.

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