By Pvt. Choi Keun-woo (USAG-Yongsan)May 6, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - MEDCOM defeated Seoul American High School 2-1 (25-27, 25-20, 15-12) to claim the women's championship title in the U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan Intramural Volleyball Tournament at Collier Field House April 29.
MEDCOM had taken down SAHS in the earlier stages of the tournament last week 2-0, sending SAHS into the loser's bracket.
In the finals, SAHS faced the difficult task of having to beat MEDCOM twice in order to become champions. SAHS came close, but ultimately fell short.
SAHS took the first game 2-0 (30-28, 25-21). SAHS senior Avianca Manning clinched the victory with a powerful spike over MEDCOM defenders, who had trouble defending Manning throughout the game.
"When she was spiking the ball, it was really hard to receive it. It was very difficult," said Veronica Charatain, MEDCOM's team captain.
MEDCOM struggled in the second game. SAHS' Manning, Gabby Matautia and Nicole Bruce delivered fierce spikes. MEDCOM's Mandi Metzger, Xena Vestal and Charatain fought back for multiple deuces in the first set, but lost 25-27.
In the second set, however, SAHS showed signs of fatigue as SAHS' spikes starting finding the net.
"People got tired," Matautia said. "It was all mental. If we had stayed focused and fought hard, we might have taken the game."
"A lot of the girls are doing extra things. They are playing soccer, softball and so on. They were just tired. They played well but the other team won," said SAHS coach Denny Hilgar.
MEDCOM took the second set 25-20, and the final set showed a MEDCOM team with a more active offense and stable defense.
"We only have one real setter. Sometimes she has to play defense and that gets us off track because we need a back-up setter to help her out," Charatain said. "So we tried to fix that in the first game which threw us off. So then we went back to what we know best, which is to keep her as the main setter and if she were to pick up the ball, the rest of us will cover down for her."
MEDCOM finished the final set 15-12 to win the championship.