Whittier Christian headed back to 2A final
YORBA LINDA — Whittier Christian proved once again that it knows how respond to the pressure of a big game.
The Heralds swept their way into the CIF-SS Division 2-A girls volleyball finals for the second consecutive season with a 25-14, 25-14, 25-20 victory over Yorba Linda on Tuesday at Yorba Linda High.
The top-seeded Heralds will play Chadwick of Palos Verdes Peninsula in the championship match at 11:30a.m. Saturday at Santiago Canyon College.
The top-seeded Heralds attack was clicking on all cylinders from beginning Tuesday night.
The two teams had met earlier this season, and Whittier Christian won a close match. Heralds coach Shawn Hunter said his team used the previous matchup to its advantage.
“(Seeing them early in the season) helped us a lot,” he said. “I think we were a little bit more tentative coming in because that game was so close, but I was excited to see how hard we came out to play against them.”
If there was any uncertainty among the players, it didn’t show.
The Heralds (34-3) dominated the first set, mostly behind Kylee Wolfe and junior outside hitter Deanna Blaine, and shot out to an early 12-5 lead.
The second set was more of the same for Whittier Christian as Blaine l(13 kills) notched three consecutive kills, giving the Heralds a 22-13 advantage.
Yorba Linda (24-8) came alive in the third set, keeping it close at 18-16 late in the set behind a strong performance from Aspen Potter.
Potter finished the contest with double-digit kills.
Blaine, however, set up game point with a service ace and Kylie Cooke closed out the match with a tip that fell between the diving Mustangs defense.
Hunter said that he wanted his team to come out and play like they have been all season.
“We wanted to come out and play loose,” he said. “They compete at all times. Whether we’re in the lead or behind, their competition level is awesome.”
Junior libero Nicole Santos led the Heralds with 18 digs. Junior setter Jennifer Washle recorded a double-double with 29 assists and 11 digs.