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Harvard-Westlake Rally Makes Statement : Volleyball: Wolverines turn back Bishop Montgomery again and reach final of State tournament.


STUDIO CITY — Harvard-Westlake High turned out to be as resilient as Christine Bohle's right pinkie finger.

Which, in the end, was about as resilient as can be.

In the same manner that Bohle recovered from a finger dislocation, the Wolverines came back to defeat Bishop Montgomery, 10-15, 15-5, 15-13, 15-12, in the Division III State semifinals Tuesday night at Harvard-Westlake.

Harvard-Westlake (26-1), which defeated the Knights in the Southern Section Division II final two weeks ago, plays San Jose Del Mar in the State final Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Cal State Fullerton.

Bohle, who isn't quite sure how she dislocated her pinkie in the first game of the match, was cured by trainer Scott Wong, who merely popped the finger back into place.

The cure for the Wolverines was improved serving and defense, a pair of items missing from the first game as Bishop Montgomery (26-4) stormed out to an 11-3 lead.

"We were a little nervous because we knew they wanted revenge," said Bettina Korek, who had 15 kills for the Wolverines.

Bohle was a little nervous because she felt pain whenever she hit the ball.

But she came back with seven of her team-high 17 kills in the second game as the Wolverines knotted the match at 1-1.

"I just didn't care," said Bohle, who guessed her finger problems began on either a block or a kill. "I didn't really notice."

The third game was the notable one.

The Knights would not go away, erasing Harvard-Westlake leads of 8-4 and 13-9.

With the score tied at 13-13, Bohle served up an ace.

After a pair of sideouts, Lindsay McNiel followed with her only kill of the game, spiking down an errant Bishop Montgomery service reception that floated right up to the net.

Game, momentum and, ultimately, the match to Harvard-Westlake.

"There was never any doubt," said McNiel, who had seven kills in the match. "We knew we would come back."

The Wolverines can give partial thanks to their defense at the net.

In the third game, they rang up eight block solos, following that up with a trio in the fourth game.

Jenni Kriste, the Wolverines' setter, had five block solos, nine kills and 45 assists.

Bishop Montgomery swept the Wolverines in a regular-season match, but couldn't repeat the feat in the playoffs.

"Our passing fell apart," Knights Coach Kim Willeman said. "Harvard really stayed steady."

Heidi Ilustre, who will play for Hawaii next season, had 27 kills for the Knights.

Lesley Coben had 14 kills and 24 digs for the Wolverines, and Malaika Naulls added eight kills.

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