La Salle volleyball sweeps into semifinals

Just by looking at the results of its previous two playoff victories, one could contend that the La Salle High girls' volleyball team's 25-19, 25-16, 25-21 sweep of host San Juan Hills in Saturday's CIF Southern Section Division 1-A quarterfinal was the team's most impressive postseason performance yet.

But you wouldn't be in agreement with Lancers Coach Tiare Tuitama, who spoke first of her team's three forced timeouts and 14 service errors.

Nonetheless, Tuitama has seen her team through to the semifinals for the second straight season, as Haley DeSales led the way with 15 kills and four aces and setter Alyssa Tavera tallied 32 assists and three kills.

"We did execute when we needed to," said Tuitama, who also got 21 digs from Caroline Knop and nine kills from Katrina Palffy.

La Salle (32-2) previously defeated Saugus, 25-17, 27-25, 25-17, in the first round and Redlands East Valley, 25-16, 20-25, 19-25, 25-16, 17-15, in the second. Laguna Blanca presented plenty of problems for La Salle, as well, though.

"They had a great crowd, that was one of the obstacles we had to overcome," Tuitama said.

La Salle has played 21 matches away and only seven at home. The number will hit 22 in the semifinals when the Del Rey League champion travels to play league foe Bishop Montgomery on Tuesday night.

"We know what they've got," said Tuitama, whose team swept the season series.