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.