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Los Alamitos opens playoffs with win
Prior to the start of Tuesday’s CIF-SS Division 1AA first-round girls volleyball match, Los Alamitos coach Dave Huber predicted a victory in five sets.
A little more than two hours later, he was right about the victory, but the Griffins saved him the drama of going five, defeating host Lakewood, 25-20, 26-24, 22-25, 25-15.
The teams met earlier this season with Los Alamitos winning in three sets.
Los Alamitos (18-12) will face Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach in the second round Thursday.
“It was a real do-your-job kind of thing,” Huber said of the match. “Obviously, they have some pretty talented kids, but I felt like we could be the steadier group. That’s what we preached during the week. We knew who we were going to play, so we told them we don’t need you to have this many kills, we just need you to dig balls, keep us in play, put the ball back over.”
Los Alamitos had a long line of contributors. Senior setter Julia Patterson had 34 assists and eight aces. Taylor Cochrane led the attack with 10 kills, Sarah Tuioti-Mariner and Mackenzie Smith had nine and eight kills, respectively.
“The third set we kind of got let up and thought we had it in the bag,” Patterson said. “The fourth set, our blocking improved a lot. I think our experience really showed tonight.”
Patterson’s eight aces were one of the biggest reasons why the Griffins were victorious. As a team, Los Alamitos recorded 21 aces. In the second set, Patterson had a string of three that moved the Griffins to set point after trailing 22-17.
“I think we took the wind out of their sails, that’s for sure,” Huber said. “They were up big for a reason and I think we definitely stole the momentum and put the thought in the back of their head that it (the match) could end and that was kind of our goal going in. If we could get them rattled, then we could have our chances.”
In other 1AA matches:
Orange Lutheran 3, Bishop Montgomery 0: Kaylie Milton had 22 kills and 21 digs to lead the visiting Lancers (23-9) to a 25-17, 25-22, 26-24 victory. Julia Frederick had 16 digs.
Huntington Beach 3, Temecula Valley 2: The Oilers (28-4) needed a heroic comeback to survive the opening round, 21-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-4. Camryn Sanchez led the Oilers with 25 kills and 18 digs. Kierra Pearson and Madelyn Kaprelyan had 16 and 14 kills, respectively. Hanna Russell added 11.
In Division 1A:
Villa Park 3, Upland 1: Maddie Olsen had 24 kills and 14 aces in the 25-12, 25-12, 19-25, 25-12 home victory. Emily Elder had 36 assists.
In Division 2A:
Troy 3, Pacifica 0: Chantel Zahrndt led the host Warriors with 13 kills and Zoe Wang had 10 in the 25-18, 25-16, 25-17 victory. Connie Fu and Brenna Hickey had eight kills apiece.
In Division 2AA:
Esperanza 3, Paramount 0: Avery Stowell had eight kills and Jessica Streuer had 27 assists to lead the host Aztecs (21-10) to the 25-10, 25-12, 25-21 victory.
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