Thousand Oaks High, the Cinderella school of last year, had to get off the floor in this year's Southern Section 2-A Division volleyball final to avoid becoming a disappointed stepsister.
The Lancers, who trailed Saturday in three of their four games against Newbury Park, managed to pull out a 15-10, 16-14, 5-15, 15-8 victory at Marina High in Huntington Beach to win their second consecutive 2-A title.
Thousand Oaks (20-1) won the Marmonte League title this year after finishing third a year ago. Newbury Park (16-5) placed third in the Marmonte League this year and in each of the first three games looked capable of becoming the second consecutive third-place finisher to win the championship.
The Panthers held leads of 6-2, 14-8 and 10-2 in the first three games, but were able to win just one of them as Thousand Oaks, behind the strong hitting of Julie Chellevold and Kristen Cleary, battled back.
"It's weird to come here and play a team in your own league," said Chellevold, a senior outside hitter who led Thousand Oaks with 15 kills. "Luckily, we came out on top."
Despite the loss, Newbury Coach Joe Wortmann seemed satisfied with her team's effort. "I have a feeling of contentment for this team," he said. "There's a lot of joy in making it this far. The girls played the best they could."
Junior Camille Mitchell led Newbury Park with 13 kills and teammate Marlo Cormier added 11. Cleary had 12 kills and seven blocks for Thousand Oaks.
San Gabriel d. Agoura, 15-7, 14-16, 15-10, 15-10--San Gabriel's Rachel Norris was too much--about one foot too much--for Agoura to handle as the Matadors won the Southern Section 3-A Division title at Marina High.
Norris, a 6-foot, 4-inch middle blocker, dominated at the net, stuffing numerous Agoura spikes while converting her own with deadly accuracy.
Norris finished with 28 kills and eight blocks.