The Veterans pulled off a 43-37 win in Game 1 of its title series against the Teachers in the 2014-2015 Saipan Rocball League last Friday at the Marianas High School last week.
The Veterans got the breaks in the closing part of the fourth set to juice-out the Teachers and draw first blood in their best-of-five championship showdown. A juiced-out win is given to a team that has the lead after regulation and also won the fourth set.
The Veterans prevailed in the final set, 12-10, bouncing back from a 7-11 deficit to foil the Teachers’ bid to send the game in overtime. Besides their victory in the fourth set, the Veterans also topped the second and third set, 13-4, 12-10. The Teachers took the opening set, 13-6, and was pressured to win the last set after dropping the second and third.
The Teachers failed to win the important set and extend the series opener, as it missed a game point and were given a 2-point deduction. The bad break hit the Teachers as they faltered on their first serve, returning possession to the Veterans.
The Veterans capitalized on the Teachers’ tough luck and scored a string of three points to close out Game 1 and gain momentum in the series. Game 1 was originally set for today, but was moved to last Friday to give way to the schedule of some players. With the series opener done, Game 2 will be played today, while Game 3 is set for Tuesday.
The Veterans and Teachers arranged their final showdown after eliminating Local Motion and Benchwarmers in their separate semis series. The Veterans swept Local Motion in a best-of-three semis duel, while the Teachers earned a 2-1 triumph over the top-ranked Benchwarmers, who were unbeaten in the elimination before falling to the upset axe of the Teachers.
The Teachers, who are composed of MHS’ Tyce Mister, Nick Gross, and Kathy and Jacoby Winkfield, seemed ready for another stunner when they downed the J.R. Gechig-led Veterans in the first set. However, Gechig and company regained their bearings quickly and swept the last three sets to move two wins away from winning the league championship.
Eleven aces were scored in Game 1 with the Teachers slightly head, 6-5, while the Veterans led in the kees (a hit scored behind the 10-foot line) department, 6-3.