In Hallie Wigsten’s final home volleyball game for the St. John’s School Knights, the senior saved her best for last.
With 21 kills in the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam quarterfinal playoff game, Wigsten powered her team to a four-set victory, 25-6, 18-25, 25-21, 25-12.
“I didn’t realize until coach [Chris Shepherd] told me right before we started that tonight was my last home game ever, and it really hit me,” Wigsten said. “Knowing that this was the last time I’ll ever play on my home court, I just wanted to go out there and give it everything that I can.
“I knew GW was going to come out fighting, and I just had the mentality of wanting to get back to the championship game.”
The Knights, with the victory, earned the opportunity to play John. F. Kennedy High School Islanders in the semifinals.
The Islanders, in their quarterfinal showdown, defeated the Southern High School Dolphins in four sets.
The Knights, at 6 p.m. Friday, will play the Islanders at JFK.
In other quarterfinal action, in five sets, the Academy of Our Lady of Guam Cougars defeated the Harvest Christian Academy Eagles.
In Talofofo, the two-time defending champion Notre Dame High School Royals defeated the Guam High School Panthers in straight sets.
On Friday, at 6 p.m., the Royals will play the Cougars at Notre Dame.
Wigsten, with seven kills in the opening set, was in a groove.
“We won 25-6, and we were playing like we were done,” said St. John’s Aprile Kim. “But in the third set, we started to get back and finish business.”
After losing the first badly, the Geckos raised their level of play.
The Geckos, with three aces from Ellisa Joseph and three kills from Abrienne Chargualaf, evened the score.
In the third set, with eight kills, Wigsten returned to form.
After seven lead-changes, with a Kim block at 20-19, the Knights took the lead for good.
Wigsten, with authority, climbed over the top for a big kill to end the set.
“I think, in those specific moments, it’s all about hustle,” Wigsten said. “Continuously, going back-and-forth gets tiring, but you just got to go.”
After a slight letdown in momentum at the beginning of the fourth set, the Knights surged for a 14-0 run behind Kaia Malakooti’s powerful serves.
“Our mindset was just to finish this,” Kim said. “A big thing we tried to do was, to slam every ball and be aggressive - even if it was out-of-system, try and slam it as hard as we can.”