The banner that hung above the University High rooting section Friday night at Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse read, "Valleyball won't cut it!"
It took 2 hours and 45 minutes to prove the author prophetic, but just barely, as University defeated Chatsworth, 9-15, 15-13, 12-15, 15-8, 15-8, to win the City Section 4-A volleyball championship.
"I thought we'd either win it in three or they would win it in three," University Coach Neil Newman said. "I'll be honest with you, I think they got a little tired at the end."
Both teams were dragging a bit by the end of the match that University middle blocker Greg Spector ended with a block of Larry Fernandez's spike attempt.
It was the third City title for University (14-5), which also won championships in 1975 and 1985. Chatsworth (14-4) came up empty in the City final for the third year in a row.
"We played a terrific match," said Chatsworth outside hitter Mark Root, who will attend Pepperdine next year. "We just ran out of gas."
In the first game, the trio of seniors Root and Steve Michalski and junior Fernandez helped Chatsworth break from an 8-8 tie to a relatively unchallenged 15-9 win.
University came alive in the second game behind outside hitters Bill Bailey and Tim Vincent. With a 14-13 lead, University's Ben Johnson served to Michalski, who mishandled the return to give the game to University.
The third game went back and forth with Chatsworth building three- and four-point advantages only to have the Warriors come back. The score was 11-11 with Michalski serving when University's Ben Johnson hit the ball long and Root followed with a kill to put Chatsworth ahead, 13-11.
Root closed out the game by blocking a Bailey spike attempt to give Chatsworth a 15-12 win.
University evened the match in the fourth game behind the hitting and blocking of Spector, a 6-6 junior who closed out the game with a spike.