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Luckless in Agoura: Chargers Are Flipped Out : Prep volleyball: Series of coin tosses sends Westlake, Thousand Oaks and Royal to playoffs.


Agoura High won its final eight Marmonte League matches and clinched a share of its third consecutive league title, but the Chargers will not play in the Southern Section Division I girls' volleyball playoffs.

Agoura finished fourth in a series of coin flips Friday that broke the first four-way first-place tie in Marmonte history. Westlake, the league's first-place playoff entry, Royal (second place) and Thousand Oaks (third place) are headed to the playoffs. The Chargers are headed home.

Only the top three teams from seven leagues qualify for the 21 berths in the Division I playoffs, which begin Tuesday. Agoura appealed to Southern Section officials, but to no avail.

"There's really no way to reverse the situation," Agoura Coach Aaron Boss said. "They can't really budge because they have to stick to their format."

Coaches expressed dissatisfaction with the league's tiebreaker procedure and suggested an on-court playoff in the future.

"Realistically, it's about chance," Thousand Oaks Coach Robert Haar said of coin-flip tiebreakers. "That's not the kind of message I want to send to my players. A playoff today would have made a statement that players have to earn it."

Coin flips were used after other tiebreaker criteria (head-to-head competition, number of games won within head-to-head matches, record against non-involved teams) failed to break the logjam.

Royal Coach Bob Ferguson said a committee of league athletic directors and principals likely will re-evaluate the tiebreaking system during the off-season.

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