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NOTEBOOK : Tollhouse Sierra Will Give Calvary Chapel Tough Test


The Calvary Chapel girls' volleyball team will face its biggest challenge so far in the State Division IV tournament when it plays at Tollhouse Sierra, at 7 tonight in the Southern Regional final.

The defending State champion Eagles (17-2) were upset Nov. 14 in the Southern Section Division IV quarterfinals by Brawley, but were awarded an at-large berth to the State tournament.

They have not lost a game in their first two matches in the State tournament and are led by 6-foot-2 middle blocker Jenny Roberts, a two-time State first-team selection, and setter Kensy Zulueta, a two-time Southern Section first-team selection.

Sierra (24-0) was top-seeded in the Southern Region after winning its second-consecutive Central Section Division IV title. The school is located about 40 minutes northeast of Fresno in the direction of Yosemite National Park. Sierra has had standing-room-only crowds in its 1,200-seat gym for its first two matches in the State tournament and it won both of them, 3-0.

"They are a good ball-control team, pretty aggressive and they serve tough," Calvary Chapel Coach Jim Downey said. "They will be a good team in their own gym with a hometown crowd. It will be a good test for us."

Calvary Chapel defeated the Sierra last year in the Southern Regional final, 16-14, 15-5, 15-4, at Calvary Chapel, but only after falling behind, 11-4, in the first game.

Sierra, which returned all six starters from last year, is led by senior setter Ashley Messer and junior middle blocker Jamie Rempel, the Central Sequoia League most valuable players this season.

The winner will play Linden (28-1) or Santa Rosa Ursuline (28-2) in the Division IV State final at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cal State Fullerton.


The Southern Section individual tennis championships continue Thursday at Lindborg Racquet Club and there are a few surprises in the singles field. Senior Amanda Basica of Palos Verdes Peninsula has decided not to defend her title and Violette Ahn of Beverly Hills, a round-of-16 finalist last year, has also skipped the tournament.

Basica's decision carries the most weight. She is the top-ranked 18 year old in the nation and has a top-10 world ranking. As a freshman, Basica lost in the finals to teammate Janet Lee. Without Basica, the tournament is wide open for the 16-player field, which includes Woodbridge junior Natalie Exon, Corona del Mar sophomore Nina Vaughan and Villa Park junior Faye DeVera. Basica defeated DeVera last year in the quarterfinals.

Other players included in the singles field at Lindborg are Zuzona Stunova of Oxnard Rio Mesa, last year's runner-up Kara Warkentin of Santa Barbara San Marcos, Julie Chidley of Riverside Poly, Maureen Diaz of Los Angeles Mayfield, Jessica Kessler of Beverly Hills and Andrea Avent of Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Last year's doubles champions, Pilar Montgomery and Sarita Yardi of Santa Barbara, will be back to defend their title. Corona del Mar's Alissa Scott and Megan Wachtler, who lost to Montgomery and Yardi in the final last year, also advanced to the round of 16.

Staff writer Dave McKibben contributed to this notebook.

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