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Marina Heats Up, Eliminates Poway


POWAY — The Marina girls' volleyball team marched into another gym boasting championship banners, and walked out with another victory.

The Vikings continued their trip through their first state playoffs by winning their third consecutive road match, eliminating Poway, a nine-time San Diego Section champion, in four games.

Chanda McLeod had 24 kills and four aces and Lindsay Phillips had 22 kills to lead Marina past Poway, 16-14, 15-6, 9-15, 15-6, in the state Division I regional final Tuesday at Poway High.

"It's intimidating coming into a place like this with all the banners," Marina Coach Darrick Lucero said. "And to play here, with all of their fans. . . . "

The overflow crowd of 1,500 didn't bother Marina, which won the Southern Section Division I-A championship, the first in school history, two weeks ago.

Marina (21-2) advanced to play San Jose Archbishop Mitty in the state championship match at 7 p.m. Saturday at Cypress College.

Poway (25-3) won its ninth San Diego Section title this season, but the Titans, whose only previous losses came against two-time state champion Mountain View St. Francis and Bakersfield, seemed to struggle after losing a tight Game 1, which lasted 36 minutes.

"Our girls were down after that first game," Poway Coach Lisa Reis said. "But they shouldn't have been. I expected the whole match to be close like that first game."

But Marina scored the first six points of the second game and led, 11-2. Phillips closed out the game with four kills for a sideout and three points to give the Vikings Game 2, 15-6, and a two-games-to-none lead.

Then McLeod and the defense made Poway work for its only victory. McLeod had 10 kills in the third game and Poway needed four game points to put it away, 15-9.

Marina scored the first nine points of the fourth game, eight coming on McLeod's jump serve. She served two aces in the run and Marina took a 12-1 lead before two Poway errors eventually closed out the match.

Although Poway's Sonja Nielson had 19 kills and 18 digs, Marina's defense kept the pressure on and everyone contributed.

McLeod had 25 digs, Lindsay Phillips had 24, Julie Renfrow had 20 and Katie Keating (10 kills) 15.

And when the Vikings popped the ball up, Ashlee Phillips, who had 62 assists and two blocks, usually found the openings, ones that led to their first state championship match.

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