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FRIARS TOP OFF SEASON WITH CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS CROWN

FD takes down Geckos in four sets to close out the 2024 high school boys volleyball season

By Carmen Gogue

Friar Nation and Gecko by God fans filled up the John F. Kennedy high school gym Sunday evening to witness the highly anticipated matchup of the two best Boys High School Volleyball teams battle in the third annual GSPN Boys Volleyball Champion vs Champions game.

The IIAAG six-time defending champions Father Duenas Friars took down the ISA champion George Washington Geckos in four exhilarating sets 23-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-22 to be named the 2024 Champion of Champions.

Leading the Friars at the net, were twin towers Joseph Mafnas and Noah Cruz both dominating in blocks and kills for the night. Mafnas recorded 15 kills, two blocks, and one ace with Cruz having 11 kills and four blocks.

WATCH THE REPLAY OF THE CHAMPION vs. CHAMPION MATCH

First Set

Wendy’s Players of the Game Joseph Mafnas and Noah Cruz (photo by Dj Foster)

FD started the first set out strong with outside hitter Saul Bamba getting the first kill of the evening and a big block from Noah Cruz on Kaden Apiag. A minor hitting error for the Friars showed no despair as Cruz and Antonio Egurrola had back-to-back kills followed by an ace from teammate Zachary Muna to lead 5-1. A few Geckos errors led to a 8-2 Friar lead until Zuriel Joker turned the tables with two kills to spark GW’s comeback.

Joseph Mafnas and Zuriel Joker performed well for each of their teams as they went back and forth for points. After reaching a 10-10 all, Apiag went up powering a kill to the Friars defense for the Geckos first lead of the set 11-10. From there the Geckos and Friars exchanged one-to-two-point leads up to 24-23 GW leading by one. GW locked up the first set 25-23 from an FD hitting error.

Second Set

Down one set, the Friars recouped in the second as the Geckos began with a service error. Mafnas and Bamba set up for a block on Apiag to lead 2-0. Benedict Tabunar hit a shot from the middle to get the Geckos on the board but Mafnas maintained control of the net to a 10-3 lead.

The Geckos were struggling to find their footing as the Friars continued to roll on to 22-9 lead. Fighting to hold on, the Geckos were unable to bounce back as the Friars easily took the second set 25-13 from a Cruz kill.

Third Set

In the third set, the lead changed hands multiple times with Edwin Leon Guerrero, Jonah Blas and Apiag finding open shots for the Geckos while Mafnas and Cruz handled business at the net on the Friars end.

Saul Bamba ended the third set 25-22 with a massive kill to lead two sets to one heading into the fourth set.

Fourth Set

Hyped up as ever, neck and neck action for the Friars and Geckos were present once again. The Geckos were looking to turn the game into a five-setter leading 15-10 until Cruz blazed a trail of kills to catch up 16-16. The Geckos held on to two-three point leads at 21-19 but Jacob Toves and Cruz dominated to a 21-21 tie. A few Gecko errors and the wrath of Cruz led to a Friars victory at 25-22.

Junior Varsity Championship

The Friars junior varsity team also won the title against the Sanchez Sharks in three sets 25-20, 15-25, 25-22.

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COMING SOON …

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro June 15-24

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

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