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Sylmar Beats Franklin for First City Title : Volleyball: Despite back pain, Ariza records 30 kills and 13 aces in Spartans' five-game win.


After the second game of the girls' City Section Division 3-A volleyball final, the last thing Sylmar High expected was to battle for the championship.

Senior Mayra Ariza had just served nine consecutive points, including six service aces, and the Spartans were on the verge of a sweep.

But Franklin fought back by taking the next two games and scored the first six points in the fifth game before Sylmar responded with a 15-11, 15-4, 14-16, 13-15, 15-11 victory Saturday night at Occidental College.

Sylmar clinched its first City title in dramatic fashion, needing five match points before Franklin middle blocker Erica Montiel made an error on a kill attempt.

Ariza, who suffers from chronic back pain, aggravated her back in the fourth game but played every point and finished with 30 kills and 13 service aces. Eight of the kills came in the final game.

"This is my last game, I had to give it 100 percent," Ariza said. "It was now or never."

Sylmar middle blocker Deanna Turner added 17 kills and six blocks, and outside hitter Anne Guevarra added 15 kills.

Top-seeded Franklin (16-1) was led by middle blockers Angelica Barraza and Joy Sukphranee. Barraza had 14 kills and 15 blocks and Sukphranee added 19 kills and 13 blocks.

"I knew with their defense and blocking, there was no way it was going to be three games," Sylmar Coach Bob Thomson said. "I thought going in it would be four or five."

Sylmar (16-1) almost depended on Ariza too much. On a game point in the first game, Ariza had four consecutive kill attempts without success. But on another Sylmar game point, Ariza clinched the victory with her eighth kill of the game.

Franklin raced to a 10-1 lead in the fourth game, but had to hold on for a 15-13 victory.

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