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Guards secure city title

Jeff Tully

The Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ volleyball team has won a

championship this season.

Although the Guards won’t capture a title in the tough Sunshine


League, Bell-Jeff can claim the city championship after disposing of

the three other area schools.

Tuesday, Bell-Jeff completed the city trifecta by beating host

Providence, 25-27, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 15-8, in a thrilling


nonleague contest.

Earlier this season, the Guards completed three-game sweeps

against Burbank and Burroughs.

Although the Guards (8-4) won the tough contest, it took almost

every ounce of effort on Bell-Jeff’s part to secure the cross-town

rivalry match, after the Pioneers took a 2-0 lead in games.

“After we lost that second straight game, I just told the girls we

had to come back and we had to start getting into the zone,”


second-year Bell-Jeff Coach Gloria Arancibia said.

“I give them a lot of credit for battling back and not giving up

when it really got tough.”

The highly contested battle was not something that was unexpected

for Providence Coach Andrew Bencze. Bencze figured his Pioneer (2-5)

squad was a big underdog coming into the match.

“Of the eight years we have had the rivalry [prior to Tuesday], we

have won seven of the matches,” Bencze said. “And of those years,


there have been only two that I thought we were underdogs, and this

was one of the years.”

“It’s just tough to lose a [match like this]. But it was just a

great rivalry and I give a lot of credit to Bell-Jeff.”

Arancibia was just as complementary about Bencze and the Pioneers.

“They came out fired up and they had the momentum for those first

two games,” she said. “They played well.”

After winning the first two games, the Pioneers had match-point at

24-20, in the third and thought that they had won the contest when

6-foot-4 Megan Campbell made a block at the net. But Campbell was

called for a net violation, giving Bell-Jeff new life.

The Guards went on to win the game and the play proved to be a

turning point in the match

The Guards were paced by the blasting outside hitting of Ashley

Walden (15 kills, seven aces) and Julie Van Dyke (13 kills, five