Taft Upends Chatsworth in 5 Games
In an endurance contest, the Taft High boys’ volleyball team had the necessary energy to pull out a 15-12, 9-15, 13-15, 16-14, 15-6 win over Chatsworth in the City Section Division 4-A championship game Friday night at Pepperdine.
The match lasted 2 1/2 hours, but it was clearly the Toreadors who proved to be in better shape.
“Chatsworth really controlled most of the match, but we were able to sprint to the end,” Taft Coach Doug Magorien said. “Our team just never got down on themselves, and that’s the way they’ve played all season. Even trailing, their intensity was always there. They’re really dedicated kids.”
The win represents the first championship for Taft in volleyball since the mid-1970s. It also was the team’s first victory over Chatsworth in five years.
Taft finished 16-1, its only loss a five-game match to Chatsworth six weeks ago. The Chancellors, the defending 4-A titlist playing in their seventh consecutive City final, finished 14-3.
“This clearly lets everyone in the City know who the team of the ‘90s is,” said Taft middle blocker Stuart Sandin, who served the final two points of the match. “Our intensity was better down the end, and that’s how we were able to win.”
Chatsworth has always presented problems for Taft since Magorien took over the program five years ago. In the teams’ earlier match this season, Taft won the first game, but the Chancellors chipped away and posted the victory.
It appeared the same would happen Friday when Taft jumped to a 1-0 lead in games, but struggled in consecutive losses in the second and third games.
Chatsworth had plenty of chances to put the match away, but seemed to be its own worst enemy down the stretch. The Chancellors led, 11-3, in the third game, but struggled to hold on to a 15-13 win. From that point, they never seemed to have the same intensity.
Middle blockers Gene Urcan and Craig Hewitt dominated the net for Chatsworth in the early going, but in the final two games seemed on the defense to Taft’s front line duo of Sandin and Matt Davis.
The Chancellors led, 14-12, in the fourth game, and bobbled three consecutive chances to win the game and match.
But costly mistakes resulted in four consecutive points for Taft and a 16-14 win.
It was all Toreadors from there, with Davis and Sandin effectively working the net.
“It’s a tough loss,” said Chatsworth Coach Steve West, in his first year. “It came down to the two best teams in the City, and I think the fans got their money’s worth tonight.”