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Torrey Pines Rallies in Volleyball

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It’s a luxury few teams have. Torrey Pines had it, Monte Vista didn’t. Case closed.

For the second consecutive year, Torrey Pines won the Division II San Diego Section girls’ volleyball title. The top-seeded and nationally recognized Falcons defeated Monte Vista, 12-15, 15-9, 15-7, 15-6 at Mira Mesa on Saturday night, using a balanced offensive attack that hit the Monarchs like a punch in the stomach.

“We have so many good hitters on the court at one time, most teams haven’t seen that too much,” Torrey Pines Coach Jim Harrah said.

Whether it was outside hitters Brett Hensel and Carey May or middle blockers Kathy Oleksow and Kami Schmedding, Torrey Pines attacked from all spots: right, left, middle, even the back row.

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“We try to split it up a lot,” said Hensel, who had nine kills, three blocks and two assists. “We’re pretty balanced.”

Monte Vista (26-4) did its best to topple heavily favored Torrey Pines, even gave the Falcons a scare, for a game and a half. After winning the opening game, the Monarchs took leads of 7-2 and 9-7 in the second before wilting.

“We weren’t just happy to be here, we were here to win,” said Monte Vista Coach Tod Mattox. “We were hitting one-on-one from the outside, but we only did that for a game and a half. We started blowing the lines, and they started hitting the lines.”

The Falcons (26-5) also started having flashbacks to last year, when they have to come back from a two-game deficit to defeat Helix.

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“After the first game, our passing improved,” Hensel said. “We remembered what happened against Helix and we didn’t want the same thing to happen.”

Division I final

Poway and San Dieguito made it a Palomar affair in the final match of the day. Poway, which finished second to Torrey Pines in the Palomar, needed just over an hour to win its seventh title in the last eight years, 15-4, 16-14, 15-8.

“I’m pleased with the Palomar League showing,” said Poway Coach Lisa Reis. “It makes us all better.”

Kara Milling let the Titans (16-2) with 11 kills. Kim Johnson had 10 kills for San Dieguito (22-14). It was third time Poway has defeated the Mustangs this season, but this was the closest of the contests.

“Last time we beat them 1, 0 and 2,” Milling said. “They were a lot tougher tonight.”

Division III final

USDHS won its sixth consecutive title with a 15-11, 12-15, 15-7, 15-13 victory over Western League co-champion and rival La Jolla.

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For USDHS (21-1), it was a mild case of revenge, as the Dons were handed their only loss of the season by the Vikings (26-5) in their final league meeting.

“Coach (Rob Gorney) told us to remember the look in their eyes when they beat us,” said Kate Stockholm, who had a game-high 26 kills for USDHS.

They remembered. But the Dons needed no reminding that they were playing for title No. 6 for USDHS and for Gorney, who has been around for them all.

“It’s pressure,” said Stockholm, “but it’s not pressure (the coaches) put on us. We put it on ourselves. They leave it up to us.”

Leaving it in the players’ hands, as evidenced by the Dons’ performance in Game 3, was good enough. USDHS went on a 9-0 scoring binge from which La Jolla couldn’t recover.

While Stockholm said no USDHS team wanted to be the one to blow the title streak, the Dons’ almost blew a 12-9 lead in the fourth game, and even let La Jolla tie it at 13-13. But timely kills by Michele Moffett and Suzanne Robertson ensured the victory.


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