Saipan International School earned an undefeated record in the regular season of the 2019-2020 Public School System Interscholastic Boys Middle School Volleyball League after sweeping Francisco M. Sablan 1 last Wednesday at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.
The Geckos scored a 21-17 victory in the first set and completed the early win after rallying past the Napu Riders in the second, 22-20. SIS finished pool play in Group A with a 6-0 record, as it also prevailed in its earlier match against Dandan Middle School 2, 21-16, 21-15.
FMS 1, which fell to a 1-4 record, had a chance to send the game into a third set and threaten to end SIS’ winning streak after posting a 20-19 lead in the second set, but failed after committing a couple of errors. It hit a wide return at the sideline, allowing the Geckos to tie the game, 20-all.
With possession going back to SIS, Andrew Chung served and got a point, moving the Geckos closer for a sweep, as an FMS player at the frontline faltered on his return. Chung served anew and this time the ball headed to the left sideline with an FMS 1 player anticipating that the shot would go out so the latter just watched the leather dropped. Chung’s serve, however, was way in, giving SIS the straight set victory.
Before beating FMS 1 and Dandan 2, the Geckos first topped Dandan 3, 21-10, 21-10 last Feb. 5; Hopwood 1, 21-0, 21-0, and Grace Christian Academy 2, 21-23, 22-20 last Feb. 8; and Chacha Oceanview, 21-9, 15-21, 15-7, last Feb. 12.
With SIS ruling Group A, it will be among the early favorites in the playoffs, which will feature the Top 10 teams plus Rota and Tinian squads. The playoff round will be held on March 20 and 21.
Meanwhile, four other pool matches were played last Wednesday, but results were unavailable at press time. On the north court, GCA 2 was slated to battle Hopwood 1, while on the south court, GCA 1vwas scheduled to duel Hopwood 3 and Hopwood 2 and Tanapag Middle School was set to meet Mt. Carmel School.
GCA 1 is in Group B and holds a perfect 3-0 record pending results of its pair of matches last Wednesday. The Eagles will join the Geckos as the early favorites in the playoffs.
Two more playing days will take place before the league holds its playoff round. On March 4, Dandan 1 will challenge Hopwood 1 and Chacha will face GCA 2 on the north court. On the south end, it will be Hopwood 3 vs Hopwood 2 and Dandan 1 against Mt. Carmel. Dandan 1 will also play in the last day of the regular season (March 11) as it collides with Tanapag. The final set of elimination round matches will also include Hopwood 1 vs Chacha; FMS 1 vs Dandan 2, and GCA 2 vs Dandan 3.