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Youth volleyball: Pilipaa drops into lower bracket

July 1, 2014 - 12:05am

Pilipaa’s wild ride continued Monday at the 2014 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championship in Houston, Texas.

Pilipaa, a Big Island prep all-star squad, began the day with a 4-2 record with its sights set on advancing to the Gold Bracket.

Pilipaa opened the day with a tough three-set win over fourth-seeded Fog Black of Canada, 25-19, 21-25, 15-13.

The Big Islanders’ second match proved to be a “nail-biter” as well with Pilipaa losing the back-and-forth match with Seaside 18-Black of California, 24-26, 25-21, 13-15.

Pilipaa’s second-place finish in pool play advanced it into a challenge bracket where two wins would lift head coach Ecko Osorio’s team into the gold bracket Tuesday.

Pilipaa faced San Clemente 18-1 in its first match in the challenge bracket. The Big Islanders looked explosive at times and had spectators “talking about the incredible athleticism of the undersized team from Hawaii,” according to team spokesman Chris Leonard.

A few unforced errors kept the match close, but Pilipaa was able to rise to the occasion to defeat the tall team from Southern California, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11.

Pilipaa faltered in its final match of the day against eighth-seeded AZ Fear 18-White of Arizona, losing 25-13, 25-18.

Pilipaa will play in the Silver Bracket on Tuesday in its final day of play.

Leonard said the final day’s results can be found on, with updates throughout Tuesday on the Pilipaa Facebook page and Twitter feed @pilipaa.