The Xavier High School Volleyball team was tired and worn out, as they had just won a grueling 4-set game against St. Stephen High School three hours earlier. They could not afford to relax though, as they had a formidable opponent to battle in the Philippine Amateur Youth Association (PAYA) Volleyball tournament. They were up against their long-time opponents, Colegio de San Agustin (CSA). The game took place at Xavier’s home court, the HS gym, and they knew that the school’s pride was on the line as they entered the game.
As the match commenced, the Xavier Spikers were able to start strong as they took the first points of the game due to the powerful and quick spikes of team captain Kirby Cheng. However, the CSA spikers fought back as both teams briefly exchanged points. Xavier was able to rally back behind the consistent services of Kyle Ong, Leonard Loo and Jordan Tee and the powerful attacks of Julio Inocencio. CSA quickly called a time out to refocus and break Xavier’s momentum. Xavier knew that the CSA players would make a push out of the time out but the Xavier players were able to suppress this surge due to the solid blocking and aerial spikes of Jordan Tee and Kirby Cheng. The 1 st set came to a close 25-18 in favor of the home team.
During the brief time between the first and second sets, Coach Albert Hao reminded his players not to be overconfident and that the CSA team was desperate to beat Xavier, as they never had before. Cheng also reminded the Xavier players to start out strong to suppress the CSA team early.
The second set started with a few of careless errors by the Xavier team, which allowed the opposing team to gain some confidence and momentum. This proved disastrous for the Xavier team, as the CSA players were able to gain an early lead. Coach Albert Hao called a time out and quickly reminded his players to stay grounded inside the court. His words were not heard though, as the CSA team continued to score because of the myriad errors of the Xavier team. Xavier quickly changed its primary setter to stop the bleeding. With a new player calling the offense, the Xavier team rallied back with extravagant plays and solid blocking. The Xavier team took a commanding 8-point lead late in the set, but relaxed immediately after. CSA team scored six straight points to narrow the lead to 24-22. With this, Coach Albert Hao furiously called a time out and told his players to finish the game. Coach Albert’s words once again went unheard, as the opponent took another point from yet another error to close the gap to one point, 24-23. The Xavier team seemed to be awakened by this and fought back with a long rally which ended with a net error from the opposing team to finish the set 25-23.
The Xavier High School Volleyball team won the game in two straight sets, as it was only a best-of-3 sets game. With this victory, they have a record of two wins and no losses in the elimination round of the PAYA Volleyball Tournament.
Let us continue to support our volleyball team throughout tournament. Luceat Lux!
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