When Newbury Park lost the first two games in its best-of-five volleyball match against Royal on Thursday night, most among the large crowd thought the Panthers were a beaten team.
But not Newbury Park Coach Joe Wortmann. He preached positive thinking and was rewarded with positive results.
"I said that in volleyball, all you have to win is three games and we're not going to let them win a third game," Wortmann said.
His team listened. Behind aggressive serving and the play of 5-foot, 6-inch middle blocker Marlo Cormier, Newbury Park rallied to defeat Royal, 13-15, 11-15, 15-7, 15-7, 15-11, in the Southern Section 2-A semifinals at Westlake High.
Newbury Park will play Thousand Oaks for the 2-A championship Saturday at Marina High in Huntington Beach at 1:30 p.m. The Panthers (16-4) finished third in the Marmonte League behind Thousand Oaks and Royal (14-4).