By Ximena Fagan
The SCCS girls volleyball team took the championship in a grueling three-set battle against the AISB girls, the only team that had won a victory against a Jaguar team in the Friendship Games.
The SCCS team got off to a slow start, and fell behind 9-3. Several players had just finished winning the soccer championship, while the AISB players were fresh, and buoyed up by the knowledge that they had beaten the Jaguars the day before.
However, the Jaguars began to rally, with Luciana Adriazola's serves and Nabila Farah's spikes playing a key role, and were finally able to tie the score, after which the teams seemed to alternate taking points. The score was tied five times until at 24-24 the Jaguars were able to score two points back-to-back and win the set 26-24.
rallied from a 9-2 deficit in the first set to tie the score, after which the teams tied five times before the Jaguars were finally able at 24-24 to put two points on the board in a row to win 26-24.
The second set started off with a Phoenix lead of 4-1. Sofia's serves hit the Phoenix floor hard, but Phoenix still had a lead of 6-4. With Jaguar Nabila Farah blocks, Ana Paula Peredo's serves, and Luciana Adriazola's spikes, Jaguars were able to tie 8-8. Jaguar Nabila Farah's spikes went straight to the ground, making the Jaguars take the lead at 11-8. With Sofia Sotelo's serves, the Jaguars were able to take a 17-14 lead. Jaguars Nabila Farah and Ana Paula Peredo's spikes were vital to maintain Jaguar lead with 20-18, but soon after, the scores were tied at 20-20, 21-21, and 22-22. Then the Phoenix scored three points in a row and the set ended at 25-22 in favor of AISB.
Things were now all tied up at a set apiece. The contest had already achieved the distinction of being the longest volleyball game, in terms of elapsed time, at the Friendship Games. As the third and deciding set got underway the boys championship soccer game finished, with a victory for SCCS. So the volleyball game was the only contest still being played, and the stands were packed. The noise of the crowd was thunderous, bursting forth with every point. The question on everyone's mind: Could the team from Santa Cruz win a fourth championship and sweep the top honors at the Friendship Games?.
The Jaguars took command in the third set, opening an 11-6 advantage. The Phoenix counterattacked and cut the SCCS lead to 11-9. This time, however, the Jaguars were equal to the challenge. They took back the initiative and put on a final surge to win 15-11.
The victory meant that SCCS had done it, winning ll four competitions -- girls volleyball, boys volleyball, girls soccer, and boys soccer -- thus duplicating the record they achieved in the previous Friendship Games in 2009.