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Division I Volleyball Playoffs


In the other Division I semifinal:

Simi Valley Royal 3, Capistrano Valley 0--A little meeting Monday made Wednesday night memorable for Simi Valley Royal, which defeated Capistrano Valley, 15-9, 15-11, 15-3, at Simi Valley High.

Royal Coach Bob Ferguson took middle blocker Ryan Denihan aside for 25 minutes Monday and gave him two words of advice: Slow down.

Setter John Baxter, working with Denihan, junked the quick set the Highlanders had employed during the latter stages of the season.

Baxter returned to a slower set for Denihan, further away from the net.

The new approach worked for Denihan, who felt he hadn't played well since the Redondo tournament May 3. He had 11 kills for the second-seeded Highlanders (20-0).

"They dominated in every way," said Capistrano Valley Coach Darren Utterback, whose third-seeded Cougars finished 18-2. "They were much more mature than us, they worked harder and they played better defensively."

Royal's defense--both at the net and in the back row--also hurt Capistrano Valley.

USC-bound Ryan Thurlow had 17 kills in 45 attempts and hit a subpar .133 for the Cougars. Standout junior Beau Rawi had 10 kills and five errors.

When the teams faced each other in a grueling playoff game of the early season Goleta Dos Pueblos tournament, Royal emerged victorious after nearly an hour, 16-14.

The entire match this time took 80 minutes.

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