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L.A. Baptist Experiences Its First Loss in Last Match : Girls' volleyball: Young Knights (19-1) beaten by top-seeded Brentwood in final.


CYPRESS — There is no substitute for experience.

L.A. Baptist High learned that lesson the hard way Saturday when top-seeded Brentwood won the Southern Section Division V girls' volleyball championship at Cypress College.

The Eagles (18-1), defending state champions, took advantage of mistakes and tentative play by the Knights to post a 15-4, 15-10, 11-15, 15-6 victory over previously undefeated L.A. Baptist (19-1).

"We learned what it takes to win big matches when we lost in the (Southern Section) quarterfinals last year," Brentwood Coach Jeff Porter said of his team, which won the state title after gaining an at-large berth. "We didn't change our game plan at all. We played with more confidence than them."

Brentwood benefited from three net violations, two rotation errors and five service errors by the Knights to build a 12-2 lead in the first game.

"The pressure got to us," L.A. Baptist Coach Sue Newcomb said. "The first two games--that was our inexperience coming out."

L.A. Baptist led, 9-7, in the second game but Brentwood went on a 6-1 run after the Knights' Tracy Durose hit a serve long.

The second-seeded Knights settled down by the third game, which they won, 15-11, mostly due to senior outside hitter Darcie Frazier, who finished with 16 kills.

"I knew if we were going to come back and win, I needed to do something," Frazier said. "That's my responsibility as captain. I have to fire everyone up."

L.A. Baptist was unable to stop Brentwood's 1-2 combination of setter Sarah Neal (46 assists) and outside hitter Kelly Gentile (21 kills), who play on the same club team as Frazier.

"We were confident if we could stop (Frazier) we could stop them," Neal said. "I've never seen our defense this good."

Neal and Gentile were freshmen when L.A. Baptist defeated Brentwood in the 1991 title match.

"Revenge was definitely on our minds," Gentile said.

L.A. Baptist built a 13-3 lead in the third game helped by Sarah Garcia's three aces, and teammate Tracy Jensen closed out the game with another ace.

Trailing, 6-2, in the fourth game, Porter inserted outside hitter Padideh Raphael into the lineup and Brentwood went on a 13-0 run.

"Volleyball is a game of momentum," Newcomb said. "We had it turning our way until (Raphael) came in."

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