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TWO games into the second round of the Interscholastic Middle School Boys’ Volleyball League and already things are heating up as teams are fighting for positioning in the league standings.
Last night at Inarajan Middle School, the Warriors played host to the Oceanview Knights in a battle between the league’s southern schools. The last time the two teams met, the Knights stole a three-set victory over the Warriors. However, the outcome of their game last night would not repeat itself as Inarajan defeated Oceanview in straight sets (25-23, 25-14) for the victory.
“It’s always a great game and fun for the boys when these two teams meet up with each other,” Inarajan Athletic Director Steve Paulino said. “Our boys did a great job and managed to limit their mistakes against a very good Oceanview team.”
The Knights struck first in the opening set and jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead backed by a kill from Seth Surber and back-to-back Warrior errors. It didn’t take too long for Inarajan to get in the game and equalize it at 3-3. Damian Castro served up two aces in the early run for the Warriors. Several plays later, the Knights trailed the Warriors by two points (8-6). The deficit was washed away after Phil Jardeleza and Nelson Ortega Jr. nailed line-shots for kills.
Inarajan held their own and managed to open up a bigger lead late in the match. Capitalizing on kills from Keoni Duenas and precision serving from Christian Toves-Leon Guerrero, the Warriors held a 17-12 lead midway through the match. However, the Knights continued to play determination and managed to fight their way back to tie the game at 18-18.
Errors plagued the Knights and the Warriors pulled within two points (23-18) of taking the first set win. However, the Knights put a brief halt to the Warriors rally and used the strong hitting of Ortega Jr. and Jardeleza to make it a 23-23 game. Inarajan dug deep and managed to avoid an upset to end the set on back-to-back tips by Duenas.
Despite wanting to get right back into the game and hopefully force a third and deciding set, the Knights ran into huge trouble early in the second set. Led by the serving of Justin Mantanona, Inarajan built a huge 7-0 lead before an unforced error gave the ball back to the Knights. Despite giving up a few points, the Warriors continued to dominate offensively and eventually expanded their lead to double digits at 19-9. Oceanview was able to muster five more points before the Warriors closed out the game on a service ace by Mantanona.
In B-team action, Inarajan followed suit with their older group by picking up a straight set 21-16, 21-12 victory. Leading the way for the Warriors was Jeremie Cruz, who served up five aces in the match, while teammate Kaleb Meno added two. In the losing effort, the Knights’ Eyan Samelo recorded two aces.