Saturday, November 12, 2011

Girls Volleyball Championship

Vengeance is ours, sayeth Jaguars

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.

Boys Soccer Championship

SCCS re-defeats AISB, but less easily

By David Boldt

     The Jaguars might have expected a walk in the park in this championship game, since they had defeated the same American International School Bolivia team the previous afternoon 7-0, but this game was to be a much more tightly run affair. The Jaguars would win 3-1, but endure some anxious moments along the way.
      The start of the game was slightly delayed because through a miscommunication both teams showed up wearing white uniforms.The Jaguars asserted their seniority based on having an undefeated record while the Cocahabamba team was 2-1, and the AISB players had to don lime green pinnies.
      However, in the early stages of the game the Jaguars found that they were encountering a m,ore resilient foe than they had faced the previous day. While the Santa Cruz team was able to put pressure on AISB right froim  the start, they didn't score until the game was well underway, and it required a highly artistic scissors kick by Joan Carlos Laguna to get that first goal.
     The score stayed 1-0 until seconds before the half ended when Laguna struck again, this time in a more conventonal manner, to make it 2-0 at the half.
       AISB, known as the Phoenix, cut that to 2-1 with a goal in the opening minutes of the second half on a breakaway by Pedro Sousa.
        Try as they might, the Jaguars could not seem to get the goal that would have given them some breathing room, and they now knew that at any moment AISB was capable of evening the score..
       The Jaguars controlled the action. From the middle of the second half, when it occurred to this reporter to start keeping count, the Jaguars forced the Phoenix goalie to make seven saves, before their own goalie, Eduardo Rivera, had to handle the ball, and that was to make a comparatively routine save on a Phoenix free kick.
     In fact it would not be until the closing moments of the game that AISB finally got off a shot that forced Rivera to heroic measures, as he leapt high to punch the ball over the goal with one fist..
      And by that time Josue Abuawad would finally have gotten the Jaguars their insurance goal that made the final score 3-1.   

Girls Soccer Championship

Jaguars late surge defeats CCS Bulldogs

By David Boldt 

      The SCCS girls soccer team won the Friendship Games championship by defeating the CCS Bulldogs 5-2 in a game that was much closer than the final score might indicate. The teams were tied at 2-2 well into the second half, and the Jaguars didn't have the game fully under control until the final minutes.
       The victory would hinge on an amazing three-goal perfoirmance by Tania Landivar, who had been limping from a strained ankle the night before.
       The two teams had played one another in the last game the previous afternoon in a contentious contest that had been action-filled and some of those on hand probably expected the two teams to start back in where they left off.
     However, in the opening phase of the game both teams seemed to be playing tentatively, more afraid of making a fatal mistake than going for the risky strike. Fatigue may also have been a factor, as several players misfired when trying to redirect a moving ball. 
     The Jaguars finally moved the ball down into the area in front of the right side of the Bulldog goal, with several players kicking at it. Fernanda Vaca Diez finally tapped it out of the contending group, and it rolled slowly across the goal mouth and into the left side of the net, making the score 1-0 for the Jaguars.
     The next several minutes saw trhe resumption of the indecisive action that had marked the opening of the game. The excitement came on a couple of free kicks awarded to the Bulldogs on inadvertent handball fouls, and a Jaguar corner kick that ended up being popped over the goal. 
     The second SCCS score came when a kick by Jaguar goalie came bouncing down toward the Bulldog goal. Landivar battled a Bulldog defender for the ball and managed to bounce it to teammate Ana Rivera, who knocked it in. 
     This seemed to energize the Bulldogs. Aimee Torrico took the ball from the ensuing kickoff and headed down the right side of the field like a fast, sturdy halfback making an end around sweep in American football.
   She swooped in toward the goal much as she had in scoring CCS' goal the previous afternoon, but this time she unleashed a crossing pass to teammate Melissa Ford on the left side of the goal. Ford head the ball into the net, cutting the Jaguar lead to 2-1, which is where the score stood as the half ended.
      If there was a dark and ominous time for the Jaguars it was at the start of the second half, when the momentum seemed to have switched to the Bulldogs, who got off several near misses while the Santa Cruz team  found itself having unfamilar difficulty getting the ball out of its end. The Bulldogs just kept popping it back in, and finally Ford scored, tying the game at 2-2.
      But the Jaguars retaliated rapidly with Landivar runningb the ball through the CCS defense and making it 3-2 for the Jaguars.
      The Jaguars were then able to capitalize on a Bulldog error. On a throw-in by the Jaguars the defender missed the ball on her attempt to clear the ball, allowing it to come to Landivar, who booted it into the upper corner of the goal.
       The Jaguar star junior forward got her hat trick and the Jaguars fourth goal when Jaguar goalie Aguilera gott off a long, high punt straight down the field toward the Bulldog goal. Landivar outraced two CCS defenders and was going at full stride as the ball came down, bounced off Landivar's forehead, over the goalie and into the goal.  
        The Jaguars almost added a sixth goal on a very similar play just before the end of the game, but this time the Bulldog goalie bravely charged out and snared the ball, just as the onrushing Landivar fell over her, followed by Vaca Diez, who was close behind. The referee held up a red card, but initially it was unclear which player he was throwing out of the game and why. It turned out to be Vaca Diez, evidently for what in American football is termed "piling on.". 
       But it was too late to matter much as only a minute or so later the whistle blew endng the game. 
       The Bulldogs might take some comfort in knowing that only one other team this season had scored twice on the Jaguars, who shut out most of their opponents.

Boys Volleyball Championship -- SCCS v. AISB

Jaguars suppress attempted AISB comeback

By Lucia Landivar

      The Jaguar boys won the Volleyball final against the AISB Phoenix team in straight  sets, but it wasn’t as easy as that sounds. The score in the . first set was 25-14, a relatively straightforward win. But the second set was much more difficult,and the Jaguars finally took it 26-24. 
       The game was played at 10:45  in the morning,and the teams were psyched. The crowd cheered for their teams until their  heads hurt.
       Game started with a lot of nervous tension on the part of both teams. There were ties at  2-2,  6-6, and 7-7  in the first minutes. Jaguars Camilo Avila and Milan Marinkovic blocked the ball many times, preventing the
arrival of the ball on the Jaguar side of the court. Spikes by Josue Abuawad's and Andres Shin gained more points for the Jaguars.
      All this pumped  up the Jaguars’ confidence and soon they had a lead of 19-10.

      Josue Abuawad  managed to save a ball from hitting the ground and score a point with a sliding kick in which he threw himself on the ground.  Jaguar Camilo Avila also threw himself to the ground several times to save a point, and soon the Jaguars had the Phoenix at their mercy.
      With the score 24-14, the Jaguars had smiles on their faces, while the Phoenix team looked worried and tense. Milan Marinkovic scored the final point of the set with a smash. The first set went to the Jaguars 25-14.
       The second set started off as if it would be simply a continuatioin of the first, with a confident  Jaguar team jumping out to a  lead of 6-2. Jaguar Milan Marinkovics' serves carved their way to open spots on the Phoenix side of the court. Several times, and the Cochabamba team was becoming very frustrated.
       In the middles of the set, the referee had Jaguar Camilo Avila shake hands and talk with the Phoenix captain, just to relieve tensions and avoid inappropiate language and insults. The tenor of the game changed, and the Jaguars and Phoenix were suddenly tied at 9-9, and  then 10-10.
       The two teams provided thrill after thill for the large crowd. Jaguar Rodrigo Adriazola managed a seemingly impossible save by throwing himself backwards, and hitting a hard return in the same move. His heroics tied the score at 11-11..
      The Jaguar team suddenly seemed to feel the pressure as the Phoenix took the lead in the game 16-13.The Jaguars no longer seemed as focused as they had been, though they continued to make brilliant individual plays
       Jaguars Eduardo Ribera and Avila were constantly throwing themselves on the ground to make heroic ¨digs” for the ball, but the Phoenix held onto their three-point edge until the score was 23-20. A third set was beginning to look increasingly likely.
      Finally the Jaguars seemed to gain traction. With the help of Marinkovic's spikes and and Abuawad's serves.they evened the count at 23-23, and then 24-24. The  Jaguars were kissing the ball every time they made a point, and it seemed to work as they took the next two points to win the set and take the match. The deciding point again came on a Marinkovic smash.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Album Finals


Photography by: Ximena Fagan

Girls Soccer SCCS vs. CCS 5:30 Friday

Jaguar Girls prevail 3-1 over CCS

By Ximena Fagan

     The SCCS Jaguars defeated the Cochabamba Cooperative School 3-1 in the final contest of the round robin phase of the Friendship Games. The Jaguars finished with a 3-0 record, while Cochabamba finished second with a 2-1 record.
    The same teams will meet in Saturday's championship game. 
    It was an awesome game.
CCS scored their goal first in the opening minutes of the game  when Aimee Torrico broke loose on the right side of the field and got off a big kick that ripped into the upper left corner of the goal. That made the score 1-0 in favor of the CCS Bulldogs. It was the first time the Jaguar girls soccer team has been behind at the Friendship Games.

    The score was tied 1-1 when the Jaguars were awarded a free kick from about 30 meters out. In a tricky crossing pattern in which Fernanda Vaca Diez first faked taking the kick (but ran past it instead), Tania Landivar took the kick and booted a low, booming kick into the goal.
    The Jaguars threatened several more times and kept the action mostly in the CCS end. A header on one of several corner kicks hit the goal post. The Cochabombinos also had their chances, the most dramatic occurring when a hard hit free kick came loose from goalie Karla Aguilera, but she quickly gathered it in.
    The score was tied 1-1 at the half.
    The second half went without any goals until a series of events following a corner kick by Fernanda Vaca Diez that, after some bouncing around, came back out to her. She faked her way past two defenders and launched a high shot that went just under the crossbar and above the goalie's reach.
    Landivar made the score 3-1 with a long shot from just inside the midfield stripe that went over the goalie and curved down into the goal.
    The game got quite chippy after that and tempers were at a flash point after Jaguar Andrea Soruco, the smallest player on the field, had a collision with a large CCS player who had just come into the game. Neither player was near the ball at the time. Soruco suffered several injuries and had to be carried off the field. 
     The game continued through its closing minutes, but  the closest either team came to scoring was a Vaca Diez shot that hit the goalpost.

Boys Volleyball SCCS v.CCS 4:00 Friday

Jaguars breeze to 2-0 victory over CCS

By Ximena Fagan

    In an exciting game with large crowds cheering for each team, the SCCS Jaguars beat the CCS bulldogs in straight sets, winning the first set 25-9 and the second 25-13. This occasion seemed to ne not only a volleyball game but a cheerleading and chants competition.
     The first set was fairly tough going,  but the Jaguars did seem to be well rested and ready for this game.  while the Bulldogs were at something of a disadvantage because about half of their players had been in a soccer game until moments before. Still both teams displayed a lot of good team work and fine play. Jaguars Milan Marinkovic and Josue Abuawad distinguished themselves with their serves and spikes.
     The SCCS cheerleaders, also known as the"Jaguarettes," took over the court in half time, dancing to a remix that they prepared as a half time show. This provoked a competitive reaction from the CCS cheerleaders, who were joined by the cheerleaders for the ACS Cougars.  
      The second set also contained a lot of fine play, but the teams seemed more fatigued and distracted by the  all the cheers coming from both sides. Jaguar coach Alvaro LudueƱa rested many of his regulars, and their replacements seemed almost as skilled.  The game ended with success for the Jaguars, 25-13.

Girls Volleyball SCCS vs.AISB 2:30 Friday

Phoenix pins first loss on Jaguars

By Lucia Landivar

      The American International School Bolivia snapped the Jaguars winning streak with a hard-fought, two-set victory, winning the opening set 26-24 and the second 25-20.
      The Jaguars will have a chance at revenge, however, since the same two evenly matched teams will meet again in the championship game Saturday morning.
      The game started with tremendous nervous tension, since the rumor mill had been insisting that these two teams were worthy rivals.
      The game started with a 3-1 Jaguar lead over the team from Cochabamba.  But the score was quickly tied at 4-4 and then 5-5. The Phoenix team's serves were fast and strong, curving into the Jaguar side of the court.
      The Jaguars put up a fight, however, especially with spikes and blocks by Jaguars Ana Peredo and Nabila Farah.  Both teams were hitting the ball hard – and making amazing defensive plays. The ball often went back and forth across the net twenty times or more.
       The game continued with a series of ties a 10, 14, 15, and 16 points.
The Jaguars finally seemed to gain an advantage, taking a two-point lead at 21-19, but the Phoenix wouldn’t let the Jaguars get away, and tied the game again at 23-23.
      And now momentum seemed to switch to the Phoenix side, as they took the set 26-24.
      The momentum continued to swing back and forth in the second set. First the Jaguars were ahead 5-2, with Peredo’s spikes and Luciana Adriazola’s serves giving them the advantage.
      But soon the teams were tied again at 10-10, and it was the Phoenix team’s turn to take the lead, opening an 18-12 advantage.
      Nevertheless, with Farah's serving, Sofia Sotelo's artful sets, and Maria Jose Viacava's spikes, the Jaguar team managed to close the gap to two points, with the Phoenix leading only 21-19.
      But once again it was the Cochabambinos turn to surge (and the Jaguars hurt their own cause with some untimely miscommunications). AISB won the set 25-20., and took the match. 

Boys Volleyball SCCS vs. ACS 11:00 Friday

Jaguar boys outplay La Paz 2-0 

By Lucia Landivar

      The Jaguar boys volleyball team won a decisive straight sets victory over American Cooperative School La Paz to guarantee themselves a place in Saturday-s championship game. 
     The Jaguars started out strong, aggressively taking the lead 13-5, thanks largely to being able to stop attempted spikes by the ACS Cougars with adroit blocks by Milan Marinkovic and Camilo Avila, and soon extended that to 15-8.
      Jaguar Josue Abuawad's constant spikes and Eduardo Ribera's strong serves also aided the cause, as the Jaguars took the lead 20-10, and then won the set 25-14. The final point came on a Marinkovic block.

      The second set started off with a Cougar lead of 3-1. Soon after, the teams tied at 5-5, and 6-6. The Cougars then began to struggle while the Jaguars kept up the pressure and moved out to a 12-6 lead.  
     The trend continued, with the Jaguars moving ahead 18-8, and then winning the set 25-10 to take the match. 

Boys Soccer SCCS v AISB 11:30 a.m. Friday

Jaguars roll against Phoenix, win 7-0

By David Boldt

     The SCCS Jaguar boys soccer team had a surprising easy time defeating the American International School/Bolivia Phoenix to complete a sweep of its three games in the opening round robin phase of the Friendship Games.
      Both teams had already guaranteed themselves a place in the championship game Saturday by winning their first two games by margins that closely resembled each other's, and it was possible that both teams would take it easy in this game, which was meaningless in terms of the standings. Another possibility was that they would seek to test each other in this preview of the championship.
    And it was possible that the Phoenix was not putting forth it's best effort, particularly after the Jaguars took an early lead. However, they certainly looked as if they were making a maximum effort. Two of the Jaguar goals came on penalty shots awarded when overzealous AISB defenders knocked down Jaguars in the penalty area. A Phoenix defender was also given a red card late in the game, and will not be eligible to play in the championship game Saturday.
     Then again, SCCS might have been having one of hose days when everything went right, and better be hoping they haven't exhausted their alotment  of good fortune.
    The first Jaguar score occurred within minutes of the start of the game when Josue Abuwad hit Nicolas Aguirre with a crossing pass. Aguirre faked his way past one defender and then got off a shot with his right foot that went into the goal. (Aguirre is normally left-footed, so his shot may have surprised the defense.)
     Abuawad scored the next goal, taking a throw in and maneuvering through the defense. A third Jaguar goal came when Juan Carlos Laguna headed in a free kick, and that concluded the first half scoring.
     The Phoenix had a chance to get back in the game when they were awarded a penalty shot near the start of the second half, but the Phoenix shooter hit the right-hand goal post.
      Jaguar Lorenzo Monasterio then got a penalty shot when he was knocked down inside the penalty area, and he scooted the shot past the Phoenix goalie when the goalie, in an unusual move, charged directly at him.
      Minutes later another Jaguar, Michael Narvarro, was knocked down in the penalty area in similar fashion. Esteban Sauto took the penalty shot and made it: Score: Jaguars 5, Phoenix 0.
      Navarro got a chance to score for himself from the field a few minutes later when Laguna popped the ball up over the goalie with a reverse scissors kick, giving Navarro a chance to head the ball into the goal.
     And the hits kept on coming as Rafael Sakuma finished off the Jaguar scoring with a well placed, hard hit kick.

Girls Soccer SCCS v. ACS 10 a.m. Friday

Jaguar girls defeat La Paz, 3-1

By David Boldt

       The Santa Cruz Cooperative School Jaguars scored in the first thirty seconds of play against American Cooperative School La Paz, taking an advantage they would not relinquish in a game they won 3-1, and which would constitute one of the tougher tests they have faced at the Friendship Games -- or anywhere else.
       It was a clean, hard-fought game that guaranteed the Jaguars a place in the championship game Saturday with a 2-0 record with one game left to play late Friday afternoon.
        Tania Landivar scored the opening goal before many of the small crowd present knew the game was underway. The ACS Cougars had a chance to eventhings up on a corner kick that resulted in a scramble in front of the Jaguar goal, by SCCS goalie finally leapt on the ball to end the threat.
    After that, thing scalmed down, with coach Rolando Cabrera urging his charges "Tranqi, . . . . tranqi . . . ." when they raced after out-of-bounds balls as they are accustomed to. Clearly there was some thought being given to the fact that the girls would have to play two more tough games Friday, one volleyball and one soccer.
     The second Jaguar goal was also scored by Lndivar, this time on a corner kick by Fernanda Vaca Diez, and 2-0 was the score at the half.
      The Cougars cut the Jaguar margin back to one goal in the early moments of the second half when there was another melee in front of the Jaguar goal, but this time Cougar Isabel Taborga took charge of the ball and put it in the net.
       The Jaguars regained their two goal advantage on a corner kick inwhich Vaca Diez and Landivar exchanged favors. This time Landivar took the corner kick and Vaca Diez, in the right place at the right time nudged the ball into the corner of the goal with her thigh.
    The Santa Cruz team was able to dominate play in the closing phase of the game, gaining three more corner kick opportunities, but no more goals.