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Antilles A, Country Day Triumph in Volleyball Tourney

Nov. 12, 2006 — Supporters got a chance to cheer for their favorite teams Sunday as the annual Ocean Spray Volleyball Tournament wrapped up at the Mark C. Marin Sports Center on St. Thomas.
"I'm proud of the way everyone came here to play," said Mark Davis, head of the P.E. department at Antilles School. "The level of play was high, and we had some great help from the community."
The first girls' championship match pitted the Antilles A team against Antilles B. Antilles A was favored to win and showed its dominance in the first set, beating out the B team 25-21.
Antilles A lost momentum in the second game, however, falling to the B team 25-17. The A team's multiple turnovers and miscues, combined with the B team's better play, allowed the B team to tie the match at one game apiece.
The third set was a see-saw battle where both teams alternated leads. At the end, Antilles A held on for a 25-20 win.
The B team's inexperience showed in the fourth set, allowing the A team to take an early 11-4 lead. B team coach Mark Daniel took a time out to compose his players, but the A team's poise and experience allowed them to regain their first-set form and finish off the opponents with a 25-15 win, giving them a 3-1 series win and making them tournament champions.
Leader scorer for Antilles A was Victoria Hamilton with 22 points. Rene deJongh led the B team with 20 points.
In the second and final championship game of the afternoon, the Charlotte Amalie High School boys' team took on the Tigers from Country Day. The match was highly anticipated as both teams have undefeated records in school-league competition.
The Tigers started the series with strong play by their front line, blocking numerous scoring attempts by CAHS players. The duo of Mike Komlanc and Sharif Hodge carried Country Day to a 25-16 first-set victory.
CAHS, not to be outdone, came roaring back in the second game, playing with renewed energy and force. A tip over the net from CAHS' Ted Fahie made the score 21-13 in favor of the Chickenhawks. CAHS took the game 25-14.
In the third set, both teams picked up the pace and the defense stepped up on both sides. Fahie, along with teammates Tabari Williams and Thad Lettsome, spiked and rejected several shots, scoring points with ease.
CAHS fans galvanized their team with chants, propelling them to a 25-17 win and giving the team a two-set-to-one lead.
With the series now in their favor, CAHS players seemed to relax, giving Country Day the opportunity to get back into the game.
Country Day began the fourth set on a 7-0 run, and eventually pushed its lead to 19-8. CAHS tried desperately to slow the Tigers' pace, but Country Day took the set 25-12.
With the series in sudden death, supporters on both sides began their own face-off, pounding the stands and screaming. As Tigers fans began to shout, CAHS spectators answered back with chants, cheers and waves from bright blue and white pom-poms.
Both teams, showing their own excitement, took the court for the fifth and final game, played to only 15 points. With nothing to lose, every player was hitting the floor, keeping the ball in continuous play.
The spikes were more forceful during the set, and as the game progressed the fans got louder. Komlanc spiked the ball over the net to give Country Day a 9-8 lead. On the CAHS side, Fahie responded with a spike of his own to tie the score at 9-9. Komlanc answered with another spike to take a one-point lead at 10-9.
A blocked shot by the CAHS front line put the Chickenhawks down by two, making the score 12-10 in favor of Country Day. Country Day held on for a 15-11 victory.
"It was great for us to come over here and defend our championship against a great team like CAHS," said Country Day head coach Andy Dunton. "And the tournament was excellent. We all had a great time. I hope CAHS can come over and play us in the St. Croix tournament. The last time the team wasn't able to get enough funding to make it over, so we hope they will be able to this year."
Leading scorers for CAHS were Williams with 20 points and Jay Diggs with 18. For Country Day, Akhil Agarwal had 22 points, followed by Hodge with 16.
In all, 19 teams participated in the Ocean Spray Tournament, which began on Friday and continued throughout the weekend.
Coming in third place for the girls' competition was All Saints Cathedral School, followed by the Antilles B team in second place. Coming in third place among the boys was St. Croix Central High School, followed by CAHS in second place.
Hamilton received the MVP award for the girls' competition, while Komlac picked up the honor for the boys.

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