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Harvard-Westlake, Quiroz Can Tell How Sweet It Is

Volleyball: Wolverines capture third girls' title in four years by beating Notre Dame Academy.


CYPRESS — Anybody looking for sweet symbolism would have found it when Coach Jess Quiroz received the championship dessert, courtesy of a Harvard-Westlake High parent.

Looks like you can have your cake and eat it too.

Harvard-Westlake captured its third Southern Section girls' volleyball title in four seasons, defeating Notre Dame Academy, 15-11, 15-12, 15-6, in the Division III-A championship match Saturday at Cypress College.

Anne Jakle had 21 kills for the top-seeded Wolverines (19-5), who weren't the heavy favorites they were during prior championship runs.

"For some reason, this just feels a little bit better than in the past," Quiroz said. "We had to work hard for it.

"Our goals were a lot different this year. I think the girls thought a championship was not attainable until later in the season, when they realized it was possible."

Despite having only one player over 5-foot-9--exactly nine fewer than the Wolverines--the Regals gave Harvard-Westlake trouble at times with their strong back-row defense.

"It was amazing," Jakle said. "It was a different type of game, with a lot of rallies. It wasn't just boom, boom. We knew we'd have to swing harder and swing smarter."

The Wolverines probably will be second-seeded in the Southern regional in the state tournament, which begins Tuesday.

Bishop Montgomery, which won the III-AA championship and defeated the Wolverines earlier this season, is expected to be the top-seeded team.

Leslie Meller and Ashley Julian had been splitting setting duties recently, but with Julian out with strep throat, Meller ran the show, finishing with 48 assists for Harvard-Westlake.

Liz Gelbard had five of her eight kills and JoAnna August had five of her 10 in the third game.

Gelbard, whose brother, Alex, plays basketball for Stanford, has been strong in a supporting role since spraining her ankle early in the season.

Alyssa Rylander had eight kills and Mari Bell had five kills for Regals.

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