Grace Christian Academy 1 and Agape Christian School 1 will be squaring off in a winner-take-all finale in the middle school division of the 2018-2019 Commonwealth Coalition of Private Schools Association Volleyball League tomorrow at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Game time is at 4:30pm after the 3:30pm match between Mt. Carmel School and GCA 2 for third place honors. GCA 1 is aiming to keep the title on the Eagles’ nest after GCA 2 won last year’s championship against Mt. Carmel, while Agape 1 hopes to prevail in its first finals appearance in the middle school volleyball competition.
Eagles head coach Cesar Libut, the mastermind behind GCA’s back-to-back title wins in the division, said that more than ruling the tournament again, their goal is to use their talents in volleyball to serve a higher purpose.
“Our major goal in this volleyball program is to use the talents God has given us to bring glory to His name,” Libut said.
When asked about the keys to success of the Eagles’ middle school volleyball program, Libut attributed them to the full support of the school administration, the coaching team’s partnership with the players’ parents, and the total commitment and dedication of every player, coach, and trainer involved in GCA’s volleyball program.
As for Agape, Yang Pang, who coached the team in their semis win over GCA 2 in absence of his father Cok Pang, was thankful for the opportunity to make it to the finals.
“Praise the Lord for giving us this opportunity to go to the finals. We couldn’t do anything without Him. Thank God for giving us this opportunity to play and have healthy bodies to play,” Pang said.
Yang Pang added that many of their players are newcomers and sophomores and they are learning a lot about volleyball as they put in the time and effort needed to advance through their playoff bracket.
With the finals set, GCA 1 and Agape 1 have different approaches in their preparation for the championship game.
“Right now, our team is focusing on defense. Hopefully, we will be able to counter Agape’s strong offense,” Libut said. “The team is really excited. We may have a grand slam this year. They are ready to give their best for this championship game.”
“The biggest thing we are focusing on is movement on the court. If they don’t get to the ball, then there’s no way to pass it effectively. They need to practice facing the target and passing the target with the volleyball in front of them instead of going for those 50-50 side passes,” Yang Pang said.