Tinian and Rota HS grace Saipan v-ball courts

Posted on Sep 26 2022

The Tinian High School Lady Stallions varsity team pose for a photo before their game against Agape Christian School in the Public School System Girls High School Volleyball League 2022-2023 last Saturday at the Marianas High School Gymnasium. (LEIGH GASES)

The Tinian Sr. High School Lady Stallions and Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Sr. High School Lady Bucks graced the Agape Gym and the Marianas High School Gymnasium last Friday and Saturday for the continuation of the Public School System Girls High School Volleyball League 2022-2023.

Over the course of the two days, the Stallions’ varsity team and junior varsity team, together with the Bucks’ varsity and junior varsity team, played four back-to-back games each.

The Stallions’ varsity team managed to bring home two wins and their junior varsity came out with one win, while the young Bucks exerted great effort during their games, but it wasn’t enough to triumph over their more seasoned opponents.

The Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Sr. High School Lady Bucks varsity and junior varsity teams pose for a photo before the junior varsity game against Agape Christian School in the Public School System Girls High School Volleyball League 2022-2023 last Saturday at the Marianas High School Gymnasium. (LEIGH GASES)

On their first day of matches on Friday at the Agape Gym, the Tinian JV first faced off with the MHS JV team, but lost in two sets, 7-21, 16-21. The varsity team avenged their younger sisters with a win against the Lady Dolphin’s varsity team in three tough sets, 15-21, 21-18, 15-9.

 The same thing happened when the JV Stallions fell to the Saipan Southern High School JV team in three close sets, 22-20, 10-21, 14-16, and the varsity team battled their varsity team and won, 21-15, 21-15.

For the second day of games on Saturday at the MHS Gym, the varsity Lady Stallions quieted their stomp through the court as their varsity team fell against Grace Christian Academy in two sets, 18-21, 12-21 and Agape Christian School, 21-23, 17-21. 

The JV Stallions however, did not go home empty-handed as they won one game against the ACS JV, 17-21, 21-19, 15-7, after losing to GCA JV, 11-21, 12-21. 

With these games, THS varsity is at 2-2, THS JV is at 1-3, and the Bucks varsity and JV are both at 0-4.

For the young Lady Bucks teams, luck and experience was not on their side as they lost all eight games in their two game days. The Lady Bucks first lost to Kagman High School JV, 13-21, 10-21, then the varsity gave it a shot against KHS varsity but lost in three sets, 18-21, 21-17, 15-7. They then challenged Saipan International School JV but lost, 11-21, 9-21, and lost to their varsity team as well, 18-21, 10-21. 

In their second day of games, the Bucks JV lost to Mount Carmel School JV, 13-21, 4-21, and lost to their varsity team, 11-21, 21-17, 16-18. They then lost to ACS JV, 13-21, 14-21, and lost to their varsity team 15-21, 23-25.

Lady Stallions assistant coach Brandon Jay Santos was interviewed in between their Saturday games and said that games “so far, [has] been a pretty interesting experience—exciting for sure. Our girls were definitely a little bit nervous in the beginning… but I think everything’s going pretty well. They’ve shaken off their nerves and they’re just playing to the best of their ability.”

 When asked about the varsity team’s performance, he said “they definitely started off a little bit slow. Some of their weaknesses in the beginning were a little less communication and not calling their own ball. But as time went on, and they started getting more comfortable on the court, communication was coming back online, as well as being able to receive the opponent’s spikes and just having strong overall defense and offense on the floor. And I think that’s what set our team on the road to success.”

In regards to the junior varsity team, he said ​​”I’m definitely very proud of the JV team. Coming here with their first games yesterday, they were definitely very nervous. A lot of them it’s just their first time playing competitively for volleyball. So, seeing this, how they were able to shake off their nerves as well, just makes me feel proud that they’re able to learn and adapt on the court.”

He added that the “girls, from their opinions, they said that MHS was definitely a strong team to challenge so in that sense, I guess it would be MHS.”

He was then asked how they will prepare for the continuation of the tournament when they come back in October and he said “definitely going to look at some of the weaknesses that can be worked on the court, as well as focus on building the strengths that we already have. Now that the girls have experienced challenging the other teams, they can now see what they need to work on more in terms of offense and defense.”

When one of the coaches for the Lady Bucks, Shanelle Manglona, was interviewed and she said about the teams that “for the most part, a lot of them are new players. We only have five seniors. They are doing well—they’re just trying to feel out what it’s like to play with other people… I think we need to practice more of our defense. And even like our serving and receiving the balls, maybe just work on boosting their confidence because I feel like they’re not playing like how they were playing when we’re practicing- they’re probably nervous.”  

She added that ​​”this time, we were lucky because usually they will just allow us one team with like 15 players maybe, but this time we were able to bring two teams, so it’s pretty good, so a lot of them are going to experience it.” 

The varsity Lady Stallions include Isa Reyes, Anissa Dela Cruz, Leirha Manalo, Clarize Rodriguez, Abby Ong, Julia Medicielo, Fema Pelaez, Karisse Ong, and Mary Gomez. The JV team include Carrika San Nicolas, Kyra Adriano, Bernadette Fleming, Quinani Cruz, Mary Grace Calacsan, Richie Lagunay, Sophia Su, Dennise Miguel, Isa Dosalua, Kaeleah King, Keyanie Arriola, Katie Dela Cruz, and Angelica Reyes.

The Lady Bucks varsity include Kate Manglona, Hanna Ogo, Ellie Ogo, Freska Manglona, Wynette Ogo, Kaypeonie Mendiola, Shaniyah Cabrera, Jasmine Sablan, Denicia Lizama, and Fervelyn Luis. The JV team include Eileen Pinaula, Takara Santos, Tolia Quitugua, Rheycial Castillo, Kahra Songsong, Jermaine Chloe Yalung, Flo’ree Maratita, and Resolanda Mae Patricio.

In the varsity standings, GCA is still on top and undefeated with five wins, MCS went up 4-1, MHS and ACS are both at 3-2, SIS is at 3-1, KHS is at 1-3, and SSHS is at the bottom with a 0-5 record.

In the junior varsity standings, GCA JV is at 5-1, MHS 9 and MHS JV are tied 4-1, SSHS JV and ACS JV are at 3-2, SIS JV is at 2-3, KHS JV and MCS JV are at 2-4.

The Public School System Girls High School Volleyball League 2022-2023 is being held with help from the Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.
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