The unbeaten L. A. Baptist High girls’ volleyball team had a 1-game advantage and led by 6 points Saturday in the second game of the Southern Section 1-A Division championship against St. Anthony.
But the Knights’ defense quickly became porous and their serving deteriorated as St. Anthony rallied to win, 9-15, 15-11, 15-8, 15-11, at Marina High.
The victory gave the Saints (22-1) their first Southern Section championship in any sport since 1948 and L. A. Baptist (19-1) its first loss.
“We gave them the momentum and once they got rolling, we couldn’t stop them,” L. A. Baptist Coach Cindy Noblitt said. “We don’t usually miss serves but today the jitters got to us. Our passing was weak and missing so many serves killed us.”
Trailing, 9-3, in the second game, the Saints’ disposition improved considerably when St. Anthony scored 8 of the next 10 points to tie the score, 11-11.
L. A. Baptist’s normally strong defense caved in under the spiking pressure of middle blockers Jen Furlow and Annett Buckner, who finished with 13 and 18 kills, respectively.