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Franklin the Final Roadblock in Sylmar's 3-A Title Quest : Girls' volleyball: Absence of Van Nuys has helped Spartans advance to City final.

November 19, 1994|MICHAEL LAZARUS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

When Van Nuys High successfully appealed to the City Section to move its girls' volleyball team from the 3-A to the 4-A division for the playoffs, Valley Pac-8 Conference rival Sylmar became an unlikely benefactor.

Van Nuys won the last two 3-A championships and would have been an overwhelming favorite to win a third, but the switch has enabled second-seeded Sylmar to reach the 3-A City finals for the first time since 1990.

The Spartans will face top-seeded Franklin (16-0) at Occidental College today at 6:45 p.m.

"If I were in (Van Nuys Coach) Dave Bessler's shoes I probably would have done the same thing," Sylmar Coach Bob Thomson said. "His girls really wanted the chance at the 4-A and the state tournament. But it did open the door for us."

Sylmar (15-1) advanced to the final with a four-game victory over Canoga Park on Tuesday. The Spartans have won 10 matches in a row since being swept last month by Van Nuys.

The Spartans are led by outside hitter Mayra Ariza and middle blocker Deanna Turner.

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