Two-time Mission League champion Harvard-Westlake High fell victim to youthful mistakes Tuesday and a gutsy La Jolla team in the opening round of the CIF State Division III volleyball championships, 15-12, 15-11, 13-15, 16-14.
"We didn't pass and serve very well and that let them build confidence in their game," Wolverine Coach King Schofield said. "We have a lot of young players and we have to learn with experience. We made a lot of mistakes also."
Harvard (19-2) came charging out in the opening game, taking leads of 6-0 and 11-5. But then the mistakes started mounting and the third-seeded Vikings (28-7) rallied to take the lead and eventually the game, 15-12.
The Vikings added to the Wolverines' woes in the second game, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. The Wolverines didn't find themselves in the lead again until they launched a furious comeback in Game 3 behind the powerful hitting of sophomore outside hitter Jenni Kriste. After trailing, 8-2, Kriste spurred a charge in which the Wolverines come back to grab an 11-8 lead. They went on to win the game, 15-13.
Harvard-Westlake stayed hot going into the fourth game, jumping out to a 12-3 lead. Then mistakes, including 24 service errors, started creeping in and La Jolla rallied to pull to within 12-11. The San Diego Section champions would go on to win the game and clinch the match, 16-14.
Kriste led all players in kills with 16. She also had 11 blocks. Wolverine sophomore Lesley Cohen finished with 12 kills, while Lindsay McNeil had 13 blocks.
La Jolla was led by senior Stephanie Edwards, who registered nine kills and 13 blocks, while junior Alana Harrell added 16 blocks.
"I thought we were very similar teams," Schofield said.
"We're both not really big, but very quick and go get a lot of balls and both rely on outside hitting. The bottom line was they just served better at key moments of the match than we did."