Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls' volleyball passes first-round test

LA CAÑADA —The chants became louder from the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy student section in the fourth game.

“She's a freshman, she's a freshman,” students yelled.

Flintridge Sacred Heart's students were referring to Tologs volleyball player Kayla Lund.

“She's our little freshman,” Tologs junior setter Sophia Coffey said.

She's also just 14.

Lund had 20 kills to lead the Tologs to a 25-8, 25-15, 23-25, 25-17 victory against Ayala in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division I-A playoffs.

“Kayla is the little stud on the team,” said Coffey, who set up Lund throughout the night with perfect passes and finished with 45 assists. “It's fun to play with someone who has so much energy.”

PHOTOS: FSHA v. Ayala first round CIF playoffs

Lund's play allowed the Tologs (24-4), the Mission League co-champion and the division's fourth-seeded team, to advance to Thursday's second round, where they will play
Thousand Oaks at 7 p.m.

Thousand Oaks (16-9), the Marmonte League runner-up, punched its ticket by virtue of a 25-19, 25-17, 25-15 win over Santa Ana Calvary Chapel in Tuesday's first round.

The 5-foot-11 outside hitter — who joked that she's 6-1 with shoes on — impressed in her playoff debut.

She had eight of her kills in the first two games, which the Tologs simply dominated.

Flintridge Sacred Heart never trailed in either game, as Ayala couldn't contend with Lund or the other Tologs. Tologs senior Maddie Peterson finished with eight kills, as did fellow senior Katie Conley and senior Ally Clapp had six kills.

“But [Ayala Coach] Bernie [Wendling] is a good coach,” said Tologs Coach Ernest Banaag, who also received consistent performances from Megan Bacall (five kills and three blocks) and Gabby Piccione (three aces). “If you're up, 2-0, he's going to make adjustments. We thought we could get away with what we did in the first two games.”

Ayala adjusted its play to combat the Tologs' threats and Flintridge Sacred Heart didn't adjust to the Bulldogs.

The third game featured five lead changes and 11 ties, as Samantha Bozoian, who finished with 16 kills, half of which came in the third game, extended the Bulldogs' season for at least another game.

Flintridge Sacred Heart could've finished the match in the third game, as it held a 23-22 lead, but Ayala finished with a three-point run. Ayala didn't score three consecutive points in either of the first two games.

“We had to pretend [the third game] never happened,” said Lund, who had five kills in the final game.

The Tologs, who captured their first league title since 2006, made sure there wouldn't be a fifth game.

“We were disappointed we lost the third game, but we couldn't let that affect our game,” Coffey said.

Just like they did in the first two games, the Tologs had a quick start, as they led, 6-1. Ayala (12-14) never got closer than three in the fourth game, as the same students that chanted for Lund moments earlier rushed the court after the Tologs registered an ace to finish the match.

Said Banaag about Lund: “She's come a long way from the beginning of the season. Any coach would be lucky to have her.”

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