SPRING ROUNDUP : Bell Advances to Volleyball Semifinals

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

By upsetting San Pedro on Thursday, the Bell boys' volleyball team will make its first City Section semifinal appearance since it advanced to Division 4-A in 1990.

The undefeated Eagles (12-0), who entered the playoffs as a fifth seed, will face No. 1 University (12-0) on Tuesday for a berth in Friday's championship match.

Bell beat the host Pirates (9-2) in four games, 6-15, 15-10, 15-11, 15-13. It seemed certain the match would go five games, but the Eagles bounced back from a seven-point deficit in the fourth on a succession of crucial kills by leading spikers Ricardo Lopez (24 kills), Dickie Purcell (21 kills) and Rudy Flores (17 kills).

"We never gave up," said Lopez, "and that's what this team's all about."

Ishmael Berver, who had 40 assists, and Cesar Rentaria were instrumental in the back court, making big defensive plays throughout the match.

Bell 3, Narbonne 0--The Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals Tuesday, winning 15-12, 15-8, 15-10. Lopez scored 17 kills and six blocks while Purcell tallied 16 kills and six blocks. Flores finished with 13 kills and six blocks.

OTHER VOLLEYBALL

Chatsworth 3, Roosevelt 0--Last year's City Section Division 4-A finalists were almost absent in their first-round loss Tuesday, 15-12, 15-7, 15-11. Early eight-point leads and a shutdown of leading Roughrider spikers Hector Preciado and Miguel Prado were keys in the Chancellors' victory. Senior hitter Richard Rodriguez led Roosevelt with 10 kills.

University 3, Jefferson 0--The Democrats threatened the top-seeded Warriors briefly in the third game Tuesday, but University prevailed in a first-round Division 4-A City Section match, 15-8, 15-9, 16-14. The Democrats took a 13-11 lead in the third game before falling. Jefferson was led by Marco Mesa, who had 16 kills and three service aces, and Carlos Savedra's 10 kills.

Garfield 3, Huntington Park 0--Bulldog Luis Munoz made 47 assists in Division 3-A City Section quarterfinal action Thursday, 16-14, 15-8, 15-5. Teammate Ricardo Garibay had 13 kills and Jose Rocha followed with 10 kills and nine blocks. The Bulldogs meet Marshall on Tuesday for a spot in the championship match.

Garfield 3, Birmingham 0--Bulldog spiker Art Sanchez scored 20 kills and Munoz had 57 assists to help the Bulldogs advance in the playoffs on Tuesday, 17-15, 15-13, 15-9. Rocha had 15 kills and teammate Eddie Ravelo made nine digs.

SOFTBALL

Roosevelt 5, North Hollywood 2--Roughrider Michelle Tagger drove in two first-inning runs Thursday to help visiting Roosevelt advance to the second round of the Division 3-A City Section finals. Winning pitcher Liz Ballesteros had one hit and Jennifer Elizando two singles. Roosevelt plays Gardena on Tuesday.

Lincoln 6, South Gate 3--Tiger Cristina Talamantes was the winning pitcher in Thursday's Division 3-A playoff game. Lincoln meets Verdugo Hills in Round 2.

Verdugo Hills 1, Bell 0--The Dons' third-inning homer was the only hit Eagle pitcher Ivette Serrano gave up Thursday during a Division 3-A playoff game. Earlier in the game Serrano tried to score from second but was thrown out at the plate.

Bell 8, Jordan 2--The Eagles and the Bulldogs went into Tuesday's Eastern League game vying for the last playoff spot.

All eight of Bell High School's runs were scored in the bottom of the third inning with Magdalena Soto hitting a three-run triple. Alejandra Jimenez, Rosa Delgado and Carla Torres all had RBI singles.

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