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GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL / SOUTHERN SECTION CHAMPIONSHIPS
| DIVISION IV-AA

Eagles Push Crusaders to the Limit Before Losing

November 22, 1998|STEVE KRESAL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Cerritos Valley Christian saw something new Saturday--a fourth and fifth game--but handled the experience just fine, rallying to beat Calvary Chapel in the Southern Section Division IV-AA girls' volleyball final.

Valley Christian, which had lost only one game all season before Saturday, won, 15-3, 9-15, 10-15, 15-5, 15-8, in the match at Cypress College.

It was the third consecutive section title for Valley Christian (29-0).

Calvary Chapel is 15-3, with all three losses against Valley Christian. The first two were in Olympic League matches. Both teams advance to the state playoffs and could meet again.

"I'm very proud of my girls," Calvary Chapel Coach Jim Downey said. "We had not come close to them in league."

Calvary Chapel was done in by poor serving and passing in the fifth game after outstanding work in both areas enabled the Eagles to win the second and third games.

After trading sideouts, Valley Christian won seven consecutive points to go ahead, 7-0, in the final game. Calvary Chapel finally won a sideout only to give it right back on a net serve. It was the first of five service errors for the Eagles in the game.

"We could have done it," said Kelly Overby, a junior outside hitter who had 13 kills for Calvary Chapel. "It showed we can play up to their standards. If we just work harder, we can beat them."

After dominating the first game, Valley Christian led, 8-3, in the second and it looked like another sweep was coming. But Calvary Chapel improved its passing and serving to gain the upper hand.

The Eagles' Amy Owens had an ace to close out the second game, 15-9. The Eagles had six aces in the third game and won, 15-10.

But Valley Christian turned to senior outside hitter Stacy Rouwenhorst to rally. She started the fourth game with a block then had three consecutive kills as the Crusaders opened a 3-0 lead on the way to victory. She finished that game with seven kills and added five more in the fifth game. Rouwenhorst (23 kills) and middle blocker Jennifer Fopma will play at Pepperdine next year.

"The whole team played a lot better in the fifth game," Rouwenhorst said, "We were wondering how we would hold up in a fifth game, but obviously we did OK."

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