Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy volleyball gains measure of revenge

LA CAÑADA — For the past 10 months, the members of the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy volleyball team waited.

After seeing their season end last year with a heartbreaking CIF Southern Section Division I-A first-round playoff loss to Valencia Valencia, the Tologs were eager to see how they could channel their maturation on the court Thursday with a rematch against the Vikings.

Flintridge Sacred Heart made its case, as Sophia Coffey finished with 30 assists to help spur the host Tologs to a 25-17, 25-16, 25-15 nonleague win.

"Since the summer, we've talked about being able to play Valencia again," said Flintridge Sacred Heart second-year Coach Ernest Banaag, whose team suffered a 10-25, 25-12, 5-25, 25-18, 15-12 postseason loss on the road to the Vikings. "Luckily, we were able to play them early in the season and be able to focus on them coming out.

"We basically have the same group of players, but they understand what we are looking to do across the court in different areas. This was a great win and we can see things coming together."

Flintridge Sacred Heart, which finished third in the Mission League last season, never let Valencia get on track Thursday. The Vikings, who captured the Foothill League championship last season, only mustered three straight points or more once. That came in third game with the Tologs already holding a commanding 18-11 advantage.

The Tologs (2-0) left the Vikings (1-1) frustrated throughout most of the match, thanks to the Tologs recording 46 digs. Emily Develle, a junior libero, paced Flintridge Sacred Heart with a team-best 12 digs.

"Our defense did an amazing job," said Coffey, a junior setter who recently committed to Seton Hall University. "We still have some things to work on, but we are improving.

"We saw this game as an opportunity to go out there and do well. It was our first home game and we were excited."

Flintridge Sacred Heart, which will next participate in a nonleague road match against South Pasadena at 5 p.m. Monday, got seven kills apiece from Ally Clapp and Kayla Lund and six from Katie Conley.

In the first game, the Tologs took a 10-4 lead on a block by Megan Bacall. They extended the lead to 18-9 on a kill by Conley.

A kill by Maddie Peterson gave Flintridge Sacred Heart a 13-12 lead in the second game. A combination block by Bacall and Conley wrapped up the second game.

The Tologs led throughout the third game, building a 12-4 lead on an ace by Katherine Villegas.


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