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HIGH SCHOOL PLAYOFFS : VOLLEYBALL : USDHS Comes Back to Edge La Jolla in Five

University of San Diego High School girls’ volleyball team rallied for a 15-4, 15-4, 14-16, 11-15, 16-14 victory, against City Western League rival La Jolla in the San Diego Section Division II championship match. It was the school’s third consecutive section title.

USDHS trailed in Game 5, 14-10, with La Jolla serving for the championship. It was the most exciting of the three matches Saturday at University City High, where section titles were decided in Divisions I, II and III. Poway (I) and Francis Parker (III) were the other champions.

USDHS (20-4) and La Jolla (19-6) for the past three seasons have taken their league rivalry into the section championship game.

In the deciding game, it was 8-8 before La Jolla began to inch ahead. And when USDHS star hitter Jeni Murrell (22 kills) hit wide, La Jolla led, 14-10. Gorney called his final timeout.

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Murrell and Katie Roberts blocked a kill attempt by Merten. With Murrell serving, Merten blocked two kill attempts by Murrell, but the second went out and it was 14-11. USDHS senior hitter Alicia Turner, playing with her left knee heavily wrapped to support a strain, then hit a crossing shot for a point that closed it to 14-12. La Jolla got the serve back, but Turner recorded a kill from the back row, and Katie Roberts (9 kills, 5

aces) served for USDHS.

Roberts’ first serve forced a long pass that hovered over the net long enough for Turner to slam it down. 14-13. Then Roberts served, not one, not two, but three consecutive aces, and the USDHS was crying for joy.

USDHS advances to first-round state tournament play beginning Tuesday. La Jolla likely will receive an at-large entry.

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In the Division I match, Poway completed an undefeated season with a 15-5, 15-2, 15-5 victory over a very familiar Torrey Pines team.

Poway (25-0) and Torrey Pines (30-4) were meeting for the fourth time. Torrey lost only to Poway this season but managed to win just one game in the four meetings.

Both coaches proved to be prophets. Poway Coach Lisa Reis said her team expected to win. Torrey Pines Coach Jim Harrah said his team needed a fast start if it was to win. It didn’t get one, falling behind in the first game, 5-0.

“They just proved they were the best team in the county,” Harrah said.


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