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BOYS’ VOLLEYBALL : San Pasqual Makes It Easy for Its Expectant Coach

Paula Zimmerman was neither in the mood nor the condition to watch any last-minute heroics.

Frankly, what she wanted was a three-game sweep of No. 4 Lincoln by her No. 1-seeded San Pasqual boys’ volleyball team.

To the coach’s delight, San Pasqual obliged, defeating Lincoln, 15-11, 15-5, 16-14, in a 2-A San Diego Section semifinal Tuesday at Valhalla.

In the other semifinal, City Western League rivals USDHS and University City met for the third time this season. History repeated itself, and No. 2 University City easily handled the Dons, 15-8, 15-7, 17-15.

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San Pasqual (15-1) and University City (14-2) will meet in the final Friday at 5 p.m. at Southwestern College.

By then, Zimmerman, nine months-plus pregnant, will be three weeks overdue.

“I just thought, they can’t put me through this,” Zimmerman said.

They didn’t.

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After quick San Pasqual victories in the first two games, Lincoln, behind the powerful play of Ala Mikaele, clawed its way back from a 13-7 deficit in the third. The momentum had shifted to Lincoln’s side, and the Hornets took a 14-13 lead.

But the game was soon tied when Lincoln ignored a San Pasqual serve. The Lincoln players thought their coach, Paul Loozen, had called a timeout. San Pasqual won the next two points.

“It was too bad,” Loozen said. "(The referees) called for serve when I was trying to call timeout.”

San Pasqual’s solid defense and balance in hitting overwhelmed Lincoln (13-2).

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“San Pasqual’s a good team,” Loozen said. “They have three players who are excellent hitters and we have Ala.”

Mikaele, an outside hitter, fine-tuned his skills in Los Angeles before he transferred to Lincoln two years ago. He finished with a game-high 23 kills.

Bruce Williams, a senior middle blocker and the most valuable player in the Avocado League, led San Pasqual with 15 kills. Teammate Matt Baglio added 11.

“We don’t play enough tight matches,” Zimmerman said. “That was a big problem this year.”

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As it has been with University City, who was stretched in the third--a game that lasted almost an hour--but rolled in its first two games against USDHS.

“It wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked,” UC Coach Kathy Platt said. “We weren’t as sharp or intense, but it’s probably because we’ve played them twice.”

University City won those league games, 3-0. But senior middle hitter Aaron Hartin, who had 29 kills for the Centurions, said they liked what familiarity had bred.

“It’s an advantage because you get to know their habits,” Hartin said.

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USDHS had a habit of getting burned by the straight-down spikes that UC deposited in the middle.

Hartin had 15 kills in the long third game, but University City, whose biggest lead was 12-8, won it on misplays by USDHS.

“San Pasqual has been our nemesis all year in tournaments, and we lost to them in the semifinals last year,” Hartin said. “We want to try and get them Friday.”


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