Seniority rules for Flintridge Sacred Heart in home finale

Erik Boal

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE -- It was a bad situation from the get-go for the

Chaminade High girls' volleyball team.

Not only did the Eagles have to deal with Flintridge Sacred Heart

Academy, arguably the hottest team in the Mission League, but it was also

senior night Tuesday at the Tolog gym, which highlighted the careers of

four of Coach Nancy Tinkham's players.

And if that wasn't a daunting enough task, matters were made worse for

the Eagles just before the start of the match, when the Tologs were given

an extra lift after learning that they had moved up to No. 3 in the

latest CIF Southern Section Division IVAA rankings.

All of those motivational factors carried Flintridge Sacred Heart to

an easy 15-4, 15-9, 15-1 league victory, its sixth straight in league

entering Thursday's regular-season finale at Louisville.

"It was very exciting [to learn about the move from No. 4 to No. 3 in

the rankings] and it's a big sigh of relief," said senior middle

blocker/opposite hitter Kathryn Polich, who was well aware of the

ramifications of being seeded No. 3, which would mean the Tologs wouldn't

have to face defending Division IV state champion Marymount until the

Southern Section finals.

Polich finished with two kills, four blocks and three digs, and fellow

senior defensive specialist/setter Heidi Zieman added five digs, six

assists and two aces for Flintridge Sacred Heart (13-2, 8-1 in league).

"I was excited about the chance to set and I thought [fellow senior

middle blocker] Kerry [O'Keefe] and I connected well," said Zieman, a

two-year varsity player, along with Polich.

"The four of us have great chemistry and this team has a lot of depth,

which we proved tonight [with a lot of individuals playing in different

positions].

"It's very exciting that we're No. 3, because we don't have to see

Marymount until the finals. Hopefully, if that happens, we can make it to

state, which I haven't had the chance to do in my career."

O'Keefe took advantage of the setting of Zieman, Brittany Esser and

Kacey Knauf to record a match-high 10 kills, and the fourth senior in the

quartet, outside hitter Jaclyn Cuevas, added seven kills and a match-high

16 digs.

Knauf had 20 assists and five blocks and junior Jillian Davis tallied

five kills and 12 digs. Ashley Trine led Chaminade (4-4 in league) with

seven kills and 13 digs.

BOX SCORE

Chaminade*4*9*1

Flint. Sac. Hrt.*15*15*15

CHAMINADE -- Trine 7 kills and 13 digs.

FLINTRIDGE SACRED HEART -- O'Keefe 10 kills, Cuevas 7 kills and 16

digs, Knauf 20 assists and 5 blocks.

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