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Holy Family volleyball registers tiny school triumph over St. Monica

Holy Family volleyball registers tiny school triumph over St. Monica
Holy Family's Meghann Velasquez hits a kill against the block of St. Monica Academy's Elizabeth McCall and Anna Urrea in a nonleague girls' volleyball match at Maple Park Community Center in Glendale on Tuesday. Holy Family won the match, 3-0. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

GLENDALE — Though an area tiny schools girls' volleyball crown doesn't exist, Holy Family may be making a strong case for such an adornment.

The Gaels picked up their second victory over such an area program Tuesday afternoon as 150-student Holy Family defeated 90-student St. Monica Academy, 25-11, 25-11, 25-19 in nonleague action at Maple Park.

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With the victory, Holy Family improved to 4-0, which includes a season-opening 3-0 triumph over Bellarmine-Jefferson. The lost dropped St. Monica to 6-3.

"I was absolutely happy with our effort," Holy Family coach Robert Bringas said. "We tried some things out in the third set and we had some growing pains, but overall the girls pushed on the gas pedal at the end of it and it was a good result."

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After dominant victories in the first two games, Holy Family battled St. Monica in the third game.

The Gaels led, 13-11, only to watch the Crusaders spring ahead with a 4-0 run capped on an ace from Claire McCall as St. Monica led, 15-13.

Holy Family responded with its own 4-0 streak aided by two kills from sophomore outside hitter Meghann Velasquez, who led all players with 15 kills.

Though St. Monica closed to within 17-16 on a Holy Family service error, the Gaels never relinquished control of the lead and eventually closed out the match on an 8-3 spurt.

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"We knew we had to play smart against a good defensive team and find the holes," Velasquez said. "We know we can't always score continuously, but when we can, it's because we found the holes and didn't hit directly at them."

Isabella Peregrino added six kills and two aces for Holy Family, which received four kills and four aces from Gisselle Quintanilla.

Kate Golbranson led St. Monica Academy with four kills.

St. Monica's ability to stay competitive in the third set was a direct result of not letting the game slip away early.

In the first two sets, Holy Family did a wonderful job of building quick, insurmountable advantages.

The Gaels raced to a 10-1 advantage in the first game that was superseded by a 15-1 lead in the second set. In both games, the Gaels jumped ahead, 17-2.

"Over the course of the match, I thought [Holy Family] was a little better defensively," St. Monica coach Darren Bradley said, "but I think that's because our hits were so predictable. We just don't have the hitters yet and they did. I really think that was the difference."

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