Soaring High


Griffin's difficult race to victory


TEXT   BY   REIL   BENEDICT   OBINQUE
PHOTOS   BY   RAYMOND   TRESPECES

The crowd went still as Jersey No. 3 of the Business and Management Vipers dribbled the ball at the service line. It was the fifth set, and the leading team, the Accountancy Griffins, was one point ahead of the Vipers, and one point close to winning the championship game. One wrong move from any of the two teams might mean losing the chance to win.

The moment the ball was served, there was a brief silence among the crowd while the Griffins were preparing to attack, eyeing the ball very carefully. Everyone seemed to be holding their breath, until, as though unpredictable for everybody, the ball touched the ground. The silence immediately turned into shouts and roaring that filled the whole Martin building.

The Griffins won the set, 15-13. Unfortunately for the Vipers, the ball landed just a few feet outside the opponent's court, ending the game stunningly fought by the two teams.

While the Griffins jump up in joy, some of the Vipers can only stare in surprise, teary-eyed. It was, for majority of the spectators, the most intense volleyball game they have witnessed during this year's Palarong Atenista, not just because of the storied rivalry between the two teams, but also because of their stunning skills.

The first set of the game, however, was not a good start for the Griffins. Fueled by several miscommunication problems among the players, they fell short over the Vipers, 25-15, overpowered by the opponent's powerful attacks.

Despite this, the Griffins' supporters were as enthusiastic as that of the Vipers, as they never stopped cheering for their players despite their lost during the set. As though motivated by their energetic support, the Griffins managed to overpower the Vipers with 25-11.

Unlike the first two sets, the third set of the game was a close fight between the two teams. The Griffins was leading during the first part, fueled by their stunning spikes. But the Vipers managed to take the lead until the end of the set after they tied with the Griffins, 9-9. The Vipers won the set with 25-20 .

Winning the fourth set was the only chance the Griffins had, but their opponent was equally powerful as they were, making it difficult for them to take the lead. Every time the Griffins score, their supporters would roar in joy only to be disheartened when the Vipers would again earn another point to overpower the Griffins.

The ball landed out of the court for several instances and both of the teams had miscommunication problems, making it difficult to predict who would win the round. The game was almost over and Vipers were just two points close to winning, but they cannot be too confident, as they were just a point ahead of the Griffins.

The crowd turned hysterical when the Vipers committed a fault of getting the ball out of the opponent's court. It was a tie between the two teams until the Vipers lost the rally. Despite their effort to earn another point before the opponent does, they failed to block Ramos' spike from the Griffins, granting the Griffins their comeback, winning the set, 25-23.

There was too much pressure for the two teams, as they have to be extra careful in the fifth set. The Vipers dominated during the start of the set, earning eight points while the opponent managed to earn only one point, giving some of the Vipers' supporters the confidence that they will win this year's Women's Volleyball.

However, after the two teams changed court, the Griffins made consecutive kills and the opponent committed various faults enough for their scores to tie, 8-8. The Vipers took back the lead for a brief moment until, after again committing faults, especially getting the ball out of the opponents' court, the Griffins made their comeback.

“Both sides did their best,” the Griffin's captain ball, Kelly Chloe Gojar, said when asked about her thoughts about the game. “Kulba kaayo.”

She also said that it was a difficult round, for both teams have their powerful defenses and attacks. According to Gojar, she thought they would lose the game at first, so their comeback was quite unexpected for her.

She said they will be exerting extra effort in practicing in preparation for next year's Palarong Atenista, for three of their players will be graduating this year.