Mt. Carmel School gained its second championship in the girls high school this season after ruling the 2016-2017 Public School System Volleyball Tournament held over the weekend at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The Lady Knights, who also reigned supreme in the 2016-2017 Commonwealth Coalition of Private School Association Volleyball League, swept Tinian High School in the finals, 25-18, 25-13, to clinch the title. Karleen Reyes and Jan-Nasia Travilla led MCS’ finals win and were joined on the team by Keona Camacho, Ya Han, Karen Sato, Angela Jun, Quina Flores, Dayna Macaranas, and Louisa Han. Tomoko Shimizu coached the Lady Knights.
Mt. Carmel finished the four-team tournament undefeated, as it also swept Marianas High School and Kagman High School in the double-robin robin preliminaries. Then in the double-elimination playoffs, the Lady Knights advanced to the finals after topping Tinian. The visiting THS spikers gave the favored MCS a run for its money in the first set of the semis match before the Lady Knights pulled off a 26-24. In the second set, Mt. Carmel played better en route to an easier 25-11 victory.
With the loss, Tinian, had to meet MHS in a rubber and the former took a 25-11, 25-23 triumph to get a second crack at the Lady Knights.
In the finals, Tinian managed to keep MCS within striking distance in the first half of the opening set, however the Lady Knights proved to be much steadier in the homestretch and pulled off the 7-point win. Mt. Carmel then got off to a good start in the second set for a 12-point victory and a sweep of the title match.
Shimizu attributed MCS’ success in the PSS tournament and in the private school competition to the team’s chemistry.
“They’ve been playing together for a long time. They know what to do when situations get tough and they know each other’s game. Against Tinian in the finals, I could say they played their best game this season. They played very good both on offense and defense, as they worked together on receiving, serving, and spiking the ball,” Shimizu said.
Meanwhile, the boys competition will be played this weekend also at the Ada gym.
Mt. Carmel will try to make it a double celebration for the school, as it battles two squads from Marianas High School and one each from Kagman and Saipan Southern High School. There is also big possibility that Tinian and Rota will join the weekend tournament, according to organizer Nick Gross.