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Chatsworth, Sylmar Reach City Finals : Girls' 3-A volleyball: Spartans get past Canoga Park in semifinals, 15-8, 14-16, 15-6, 15-6.


SYLMAR — Over the past five seasons, Sylmar High Coach Bob Thomson has quietly built a budding City powerhouse in girls' volleyball.

His Spartans are on the verge of a City 3-A volleyball title after defeating Canoga Park, 15-8, 14-16, 15-6, 15-6, Tuesday night in the semifinals and advancing to Saturday night's championship match at Occidental College.

Mayra Ariza paced Sylmar's attack with 23 kills and 26 digs for Sylmar (15-1).

Ariza picked apart Canoga Park with several kills down the left sideline and added some well-placed dinks as Sylmar defeated Canoga Park (11-5) for the second time this season.

"I noticed that the angle they were taking allowed me to have the left corner," Ariza said. "So I just made a few adjustments and it worked out for us."

Sylmar's opponent will be Franklin, which defeated Fairfax, 15-13, 15-6, 15-13.

"I like our chances in the final a lot," Thomson said. "Five of the girls on this team have played together for three years."

Canoga Park was playing catch-up all night, falling behind early in each game.

Sylmar rolled to a 9-1 lead in first game but the Hunters were able to trim the lead to 9-8 behind the serving of Glenda Pasag. Pasag served seven straight points, forcing Sylmar to call a timeout.

The Spartans regrouped and ran off the next six points to claim the game. Ariza had three pivotal kills during Sylmar's run.

In the second game, Canoga Park jumped out to a 13-7 lead, but struggled before closing out with a16-14 victory.

By the time the third and fourth games rolled around, Sylmar had clearly established control of the match.

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