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BEACH VOLLEYBALL : Masakayan-Rock a Winning Team


Liz Masakayan skipped the last two tournaments on the Women's Professional Volleyball Assn. tour so she could rest her right knee, on which she had reconstructive surgery eight months ago.

She came into the WPVA Nationals in Huntington Beach with a new partner, Angela Rock, and a new attitude.

"I'm pretty hungry to play now," Masakayan said. "The rest was good because it fired me up."

Masakayan and Rock, seeded third in the 32-team event, easily defeated No. 11 Janice Harrer and Chris Campbell, 15-2, in an early morning quarterfinal. Then, Masakayan-Rock pulled out a 16-14 victory against the seventh-seeded team of Patty Dodd and Lisa Arce in the semifinals.

Arce and Dodd took a 7-3 lead, then Rock and Masakayan tied it, 7-7, before Arce and Dodd regained the lead with a 5-1 run.

"They were serving us tough and they were really disrupting our offense," Masakayan said.

Rock and Masakayan tied the game, 12-12. They took a 13-12 lead when Arce hit a shot long, over Masakayan's block. Arce served an ace to tie the game, 13-13, and smashed a shot down the line to take a 14-13 lead.

Rock and Masakayan fought off two match points before Masakayan served for two consecutive points--one an ace--for a 15-14 lead. Rock served for the match and smacked the return down the middle for the victory.

"It was a slugfest, it was just brutal," Arce said. "They are so steady."

Top-seeded Holly McPeak and Nancy Reno beat eighth-seeded Deb Richardson and Karrie Poppinga, 15-11, in a quarterfinal match and fifth-seeded Elaine Roque and Dennie Knoop, 15-8, in a semifinal.

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