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Pacifica Christian Orange County girls’ volleyball sweeps into first CIF title match

Pacifica Christian Orange County girls’ volleyball sweeps into first CIF title match
Pacifica Christian Orange County senior opposite Maddy Alaluf, shown in action against Brethren Christian on Sept. 13, 2017, had a team-high 10 kills for the Tritons on Saturday night. (Drew A. Kelley)

There is just one CIF finalist banner that hangs on the north wall of the Pacifica Christian Orange County gym.

It’s about to get some company.

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“Hopefully we get a ring, too,” Pacifica Christian girls’ volleyball senior opposite Maddy Alaluf said with a smile.

Pacifica Christian looked ready to do so after an impressive effort at home on Saturday night.

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No. 4-seeded Pacifica Christian upset top-seeded Perris Orange Vista, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17, in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 9 playoffs.

Pacifica Christian (15-8), in just its third year of varsity volleyball, became the second Tritons team to advance to a CIF final. The boys’ basketball team was the 2017 Division 6 runner-up.

Pacifica Christian will play No. 3-seeded La Puente, which swept Encino Holy Martyrs in the other Division 9 semifinal, for the title on Nov. 3.

Alaluf led Pacifica Christian with 10 kills on Saturday night, sophomore middle blocker Casie Carlson added nine kills and junior Maggie O’Callaghan had seven.

The match ended on junior setter Allyson Sharrer’s fourth service ace of the match, setting off a wild scene in the middle of the court.

“It was really cool being surrounded by all my friends and teammates,” said Scharrer, who had 29 assists. “It’s just so exciting. It means a lot, because this school is new and we’re a new team. To start off so strong has just been really a blessing.”

The Tritons jumped on Orange Vista (20-10) with a 10-3 lead in set one. After winning that set, the hosts fell behind 19-16 in set two.

But some tough serving by sophomore Anna Eddy helped Pacifica Christian win six straight points for a 22-19 edge, and the Tritons won the set on their way to the sweep.

Junior libero Annika Bahnsen led Pacifica Christian with 18 digs, Eddy had 16 and Breck Burwell added 11.

Nylia Ward led Orange Vista with eight kills.

“I’m just so thankful that they come in every day, willing to work hard and make changes,” Tritons coach Kimberly Adams said. “I’m so proud of what they have done, and I’m looking forward to what is to come.”

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