- 1 of 4
WITH the playoffs looming around the corner, teams in the IIAAG High School Girls Volleyball League are wrapping up regular season play and looking for momentum heading into the post-season.
Last night at the Talofofo Community Gym, the Southern High Lady Dolphins played host to the visiting George Washington Lady Geckos. Both teams came out fighting for their final regular season win. However, only one would prevail and after battling through three sets, the Lady Dolphins shocked their visitors after garnering the 26-24, 20-25, 25-12 victory.
“It was a great game tonight and we came into this game looking to redeem ourselves from the first time we played GW,” said Southern’s Tanya Flores. “We played with a lot of confidence and we continued to tell each other to play hard and we have nothing to lose.”
At the start of the game, the Lady Geckos opened up a quick 4-0 lead after three straight errors by the Dolphins and an ace by Tisha-Renee Aguigui. Southern was able to stop the Lady Geckos’ early momentum after Lorraina Sanchez found an opening in the GW defense for the kill. Errors plagued both teams and points were traded back and forth with neither taking clear control early in the set.
Midway through the set, GW held on to a 17-11 lead. However, the Lady Dolphins began to creep back into the game. Aces from Tianna Sakaba and a Gecko unforced error made it a three-point (17-14) game. After returning from a timeout, the Geckos were able to up their lead to 22-17. Moments later, GW found themselves at set point as the scoreboard reflected a 24-20 lead.
However, the Lady Dolphins refused to give up and fought back effortlessly. Back-to-back aces by Flores and two kills by Sakaba knotted the game at 24-24. Two straight errors by GW allowed Southern to take the opening set.
Second-set action was a total opposite from the first as the Dolphins came storming out to a 7-3 lead. Southern’s Paige Surber and Sakaba combined for four kills in the mini-surge. At the midpoint of the set, the Geckos’ deficit grew to 13-5, forcing head coach Bobbie Quinata to call a timeout. The Lady Geckos seemed to have regrouped from their one-minute talk and worked their way back into the game. Combined with several errors by the Dolphins and service aces by Aguigui, the Geckos managed to equalize the game at 17-17. The fight put out by the Geckos rattled the Dolphins as the girls from down south could never really get back into the set. GW managed to outscore the Dolphins 8-3 that included a set-ending kill by Zea Nauta to force the match into a third and deciding set.
In the final set of the game, Southern came out playing aggressive and even managed to put the crowd in a frenzy. Numerous errors by the Geckos combined with the hitting of Surber and Sakaba led to the Lady Dolphins jumping out to a commanding 12-3 lead. Despite efforts to get back into the game, the Lady Geckos deficit was too large as a hot Southern team denied any opportunities. Five straight unforced errors by the Geckos allowed for the Dolphins to pick up the double-digit victory to close out the game.
“GW is always a tough team to challenge, but our players came out playing together from the first serve up until the finish,” Southern Head Coach Jaret Sanchez said. “With GW, you can never let your guard down. You just have to keep fighting up until the final point and we did just that.”