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SVC survives thrilling final to win third title in a row
WHITTIER – Shannon Geraty slammed eight kills in an adrenaline-fueled fifth set as Saddleback Valley Christian defeated Templeton, 18-25, 25-16, 22-25, 25-19, 15-12, to win its third consecutive CIF-SS championship in the Division 3A final at Rio Hondo College on Saturday.
“I’m shaking it was so exciting,” SVC coach Carmen Stratton said. “To win this third one with all we’ve been through, it’s so sweet.”
With the teams tied at two games, SVC jumped ahead early in the fifth on the big kills of Geraty. SVC went ahead, 9-1, as her swings either hit the floor or powered off the Templeton defense.
“I was going on the momentum our team got from the last game,” Geraty said. “We had a lot going.”
Templeton pushed back to 12-8 and fought off three championship points before Geraty got the last kill, her team-high 22nd, for the title.
In the first game, Templeton dominated the net play and surged out to lead, 20-9. SVC made a late push, but Templeton took the first set 25-18.
In a feverish second game, SVC broke broke the fifth tie at 11-11 and outpaced Templeton for a 25-16 win.
SVC rode the momentum into the third game, taking an early lead, 4-0. Later in the game, Templeton stormed back, scoring eight consecutive points for a 10-6 lead.
Templeton outpaced the SVC down the stretch, but SVC survived two game points before an emphatic kill won the game for Templeton, 25-22.
SVC gained, lost and gained the lead early in the fourth game eventually leading 19-13. Templeton made a hard charge to bring the game to 20-19, but Lily Dyer was again strong at the net to win the game, 25-19, for SVC and force the fifth and deciding game.
Dyer finished with 15 kills and led the team with four aces, 30 digs and six block assists. Sydney Stratton had a team-high 46 assists, and Kaitlin O’Brien added 29 digs.