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Lees' Sprain Puts Strain on Crespi in Loss to Loyola


Crespi High outside hitter Mike Lees faced several pressing question after his team lost to Mission League volleyball rival Loyola on Thursday.

How would the Celts cope with losing their second top player in a week to an ankle injury? How long would he be sidelined with what he believed was a sprained ankle? And were Crespi's playoff hopes vanishing?

But the most timely question was this: Who would drive his 1985 Ford Mustang home?

It wouldn't be Lees himself, because the 6-foot-6 senior injured his right ankle midway through the second game of the Celts' 15-9, 15-13, 15-9 loss and did not return to the match. The host Celts (8-4, 6-4 in league play) led, 11-7, at that point, but were then outscored, 8-2, and struggled in the third game.

"He's really awesome," Loyola Coach Derrick Lucero said of Lees, who has signed with Cal State Northridge. "If he would have been in there, they might have taken a game or two. Who knows? They might have won the match."

Afterward, Lees lay stretched out on the bench, with an ice bag draped over his ankle and crutches in his hand, and pondered the match's outcome if he hadn't been hurt. "I think we could have won it," he said.

Loyola hitter Davy Olson ran by the Crespi bench and slapped Lees' hand. "Tough luck," Olson said said.

Lees' parents then strolled over and the family tried to figure out who would drive his car home.

They would have to scramble to find a solution, the same task facing Crespi Coach Kevin Slattum, whose other starting outside hitter, 6-3 Bill Rojas, sprained his right ankle Monday playing basketball.

Lees still led the Celts with 14 kills and Nick DiPasquale added 11. Kris Moller had 10 kills to lead Loyola (9-3, 7-2).

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