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Guards move on in playoffs

The Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ volleyball team is in the midst of another deep run in the Southern Section playoffs.

Successful postseason showings have become commonplace for the Guards, who advanced to the semifinals last season, the division championship in 2009 and the quarterfinals in 2008.

In a Division IV-A second-round match Thursday at Alverno, Bell-Jeff earned another berth in the quarterfinals by defeating the Jaguars in four games, 25-12, 16-25, 25-19, 25-17, at the Foothill Community Center.

The win puts the Guards (14-6-2) into the round of 16, where they will play at 7 p.m. Saturday at home. However, Bell-Jeff will have a tough opponent in the quarterfinals in Hemet (19-5), the No. 1-seeded team.


Bell-Jeff has a history against Hemet — the Mountain Pass champion — having lost to the Bulldogs in last season’s semifinals.

“There is a little revenge factor for us, having lost to them last year in the semis,” said Bell-Jeff Coach Miguel Segura, whose squad won a third straight Santa Cruz League title. “We definitely have motivation for this one.”

The Guards came out rolling against Alverno (20-3), which placed first in the Horizon League. That was evident when Bell-Jeff jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the opening game.

“I think this is the most pumped up we have come out all season,” Segura said. “We were loud, we were all talking and we were all playing hard.”


But things changed in the second game, as the Jaguars came battling back.

“We all of a sudden had problems with our passing in that second game,” Segura said. “I told our team that they were going to come out in that second game and they were going to be ready to play. We just didn’t respond.

“But after that second game were we able to get it together and we played better in the final two games.”

The third game saw Bell-Jeff jump out to a 7-2 lead, a lead it would never relinquish. It was more of the same in the fourth game, as the Guards were just too overpowering for the Jaguars.

Jocelyn Cervantes paced the Guards with 21 kills and three blocks. Teammate Taryn Nelson added 12 kills and Amanda Maalouf contributed 30 assists.