Robert Haar of Thousand Oaks High said he was afraid he might start coaching the wrong team during a girls’ volleyball match against Newbury Park Thursday night.
Haar was the coach at Newbury Park for two years before switching schools last spring for a better teaching position.
Thursday night was the first matchup between the Marmonte League rivals, and facing Haar for the first time as an opponent kept Panther seniors Kari Norberg and Kara McKeown pacing frantically around the gym as the start of the match approached.
“I was real nervous for this one,” Norberg said. “I knew this was going to be intense.”
The Panthers started slowly before mounting a furious rally, but Thousand Oaks held on for a 15-9, 15-6, 14-16, 11-15, 15-5 victory to hand Newbury Park its first setback of the season.
The Lancers (4-2, 3-1 in league play) gained a share of first place in the Marmonte League along with Newbury Park (5-1, 3-1), Agoura and Royal.
Sophomore middle blocker Jenn Detmer had nine kills and seven blocks and freshman outside hitter Courtney Miller had 15 kills for Thousand Oaks.
“We knew this was going to be tough for him but we wanted to show he was our coach now,” Detmer said.
Detmer and Miller helped the Lancers offset 18 kills by Newbury Park outside hitter Christine Arguijo. McKeown added 12 kills and 12 blocks.
Newbury Park was in danger of being swept, trailing, 12-9, in the third game. Thousand Oaks got to match point, but two consecutive blocks by McKeown and a hitting error by Miller gave the Panthers the third game.
Newbury Park jumped to a 10-5 lead in the fourth game and held on to even the match behind Arguijo’s six kills.
Thousand Oaks raced to a 5-1 lead in the final game and wasn’t threatened.
“I think we underestimated their defensive ability,” Norberg said.