The Thousand Oaks High girls volleyball team took more time than usual to warm up Tuesday night when the Lancers played host to University High of San Diego in the first round of the CIF Division II playoffs.
Maybe it was the fact that the Lancers had not played in more than a week.
Maybe they just wanted to make a match, any match , interesting. Since winning the tough Marmonte League over a month ago, Thousand Oaks (21-2) had only one difficult match while winning the Southern Section 2-A Division playoffs--against Marmonte League rival Newbury Park in the 2-A final.
But if Thousand Oaks was looking for a tough match, it found one. University led in every game and played much closer than the score--a 15-11, 15-10, 17-15 Thousand Oaks victory--would indicate.
"It always takes a little while to get going," Thousand Oaks Coach Ron Beick said. "It's hard to get the rhythm going."
After falling behind, 5-1, in the first game, 4-0 in the second and 6-0 in the third, Thousand Oaks found some kind of rhythm and some way to come back.
In the first game, seniors Julie Chellevold and Kristen Cleary started the Lancer rally. With Cleary serving, the Lancers turned a 5-2 deficit into a 7-5 lead. Chellevold had three spikes and three blocks late in the game, including the game-winner down the line on the left side.
"She did a really good job," said Beick of Chellevold, a first-team Southern Section outside hitter. "When you get this far, the seniors all play with everything they've got. As captain, she's supposed to lead like that."
Chellevold also was instrumental in Thousand Oaks' rallies in both the second and third games. She finished with a team-high 19 kills.
After trailing, 4-1, in the second game, Thousand Oaks tied the score, 6-6, and proceeded to outscore the Dons, 9-4, to win.
University took its biggest lead of the night, 6-0, to begin the third game, but once again Thousand Oaks stormed back, this time tying the score, 9-9.
But instead of folding like it had in the previous games, University--the San Diego Section champion--took a 14-12 lead. The Dons served for game point five times but couldn't win. Chellevold finally ended the match on a spike--again down the left line.
"We wanted to get it done in three games," Chellevold said.