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Zama's Jessica Atkinson tries to block a spike by CAJ's Annabelle Deakins.
Zama's Jessica Atkinson tries to block a spike by CAJ's Annabelle Deakins. (Krystal Duenas/Special to Stripes)
Zama's Jessica Atkinson tries to block a spike by CAJ's Annabelle Deakins.
Zama's Jessica Atkinson tries to block a spike by CAJ's Annabelle Deakins. (Krystal Duenas/Special to Stripes)
Zama's Leah Sakamoto-Flack tries to hit the ball through a pair of Christian Academy Japan defenders.
Zama's Leah Sakamoto-Flack tries to hit the ball through a pair of Christian Academy Japan defenders. (Krystal Duenas/Special to Stripes)
Christian Academy Japan Knights volleyball players celebrate their Far East Division II tournament title.
Christian Academy Japan Knights volleyball players celebrate their Far East Division II tournament title. (Krystal Duenas/Special to Stripes)

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – After a slow start to the tournament, Christian Academy Japan turned it on the last two days and captured its first Far East Division II Girls Volleyball Tournament title in 19 years.

Led by middle blocker Annabelle Deakins and outside hitter Kachel Bedow, both seniors, the Knights held off Zama 21-25, 25-15, 25-18, 23-25, 15-10 for the title on Saturday.

“I was really proud of them. They hung in there and kept pushing back,” coach Tanya Hall said of her Knights.

Deakins piled up “lots of kills and blocks” throughout the last two days, while Bedow was “the glue that held everything together,” Hall said.

Setter Mitsuki Hishimura got hurt during warmups but came back to have a big game.

“She was all over the court setting things up,” Hall said.

This was CAJ’s first Far East volleyball title since the Knights won the Division I title in 2009.

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