Orange Lutheran loses five-set battle with Chino Hills


CHINO HILLS - In a match that saw wild swings of momentum and emotion, Chino Hills’ Kenzie Koerber did what she said she has done hundreds of times before.

“It was hard, but I know a few of us on this team have played in a lot of those matches in our lives playing volleyball,” she said. “So I did what I’ve always done, took a breath before I served and got that ball on the court.”

Koerber and Alexis Cardoza had a hand in every attacking point in the fifth set as the Huskies rallied to knock off Orange Lutheran, 28-26, 18-25, 19-25, 25-22, 15-12, in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 quarterfinals on Saturday.

The Huskies won the first set in a raucous environment inside the small gym at Chino Hills. But the Lancers rallied back, taking the next two sets.

The Huskies took the fourth, extending the game to the deciding set, after a quick talk from Coach Andy Farrow.

“It’s not over until the last whistle’s blown,” he told his team during the changeover. “We’ve got to fight, we’ve got to work hard, we’ve got to outhustle the other team.”

Koerber had a pair of aces in the fourth set, and had four kills, while Cardoza had four more, as the Huskies limited the Lancers to only two three-point runs in the set, as they won the fourth.

The fifth set turned after Cardoza had two kills and a block over a 4-1 run that turned a 6-5 deficit into a 9-7 lead for the Huskies, as they went on to win the final set.

“This was a back-and-forth match the whole night,” said Orange Lutheran coach Andrew Mabry. “Both teams played extremely hard. I’m really proud of our seniors for their leadership and their effort. Really proud of all our kids, they battled really hard."

Saturday’s game was a bittersweet return for Orange Lutheran’s Courtney Buzzerio. The junior transferred to Orange Lutheran over the summer from Chino Hills, and Saturday was the first time against her former team.

“Knowing I was on the team with all those girls, being on the other side was different,” she said. “Once the game started, it was club volleyball. I’ve played against them in club, so it was just like that.”

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