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Sailors Pay Their Respects, Then Dominate Bullard


Newport Harbor expected a tough challenge from Fresno Bullard in the first round of the state Division I girls' volleyball playoffs Tuesday at Newport Harbor.

Dan Glenn, coach of the top-seeded Sailors, had prepared his players for a battle and Bullard showed plenty of early fight, taking a three-point lead in the first game.

"We were kind of on edge," Newport Harbor middle blocker Kathy Lavold said. "I think we really, really respected our opponents. They are a very big and aggressive team."

But, it turns out, a team that was no match for the Sailors, who regained their edge and pounded Bullard, 15-6, 15-3, 15-3, in slightly more than one hour. Newport Harbor (37-1), trying for its third state title of the 1990s, will host Bakersfield Centennial in the second round Saturday.

Bullard (29-2), the athletic and active champion of the North Yosemite League, didn't lose a game this season until Saturday's Central Section title match with Centennial. The Knights drew the Sailors because they blew an 8-1 lead in the fifth game Saturday, losing, 15-11.

Early in Tuesday's match, Bullard had Newport Harbor playing on its heels and led 6-3. Glenn then called a timeout.

"I kind of got on them a little bit," Glenn said, "and told them to focus on the fundamentals. It wasn't anything magical."

But it certainly did the trick. The Sailors turned it around quickly, tying the score on an ace by Brenda Waterman and two kills by April Ross. Bullard didn't score another point in the game.

Newport Harbor continued the onslaught in the second game, scoring the first nine points. Game 3 was similarly one-sided; the Sailors led, 9-1.

Bullard has talent, including 6-foot-1 middle blocker Jill Franz, who will play for Texas Christian, and powerful outside hitters Jennifer Kinder (nine kills) and Ashley Grooms (eight kills), but the Sailors' block largely shut them down.

Ross had a match-high 15 kills, Krista Dill had nine and Lavold had seven. Jennifer Carey had four kills and added nine digs and three aces.

In other Division I matches:

Bakersfield Centennial 3, Capistrano Valley 1--The Cougars lost, 15-6, 15-8, 8-15, 15-7. They end their season at 21-3; Centennial is 29-6.

Marina 3, Del Mar Torrey Pines 2--Chanda McLeod had a career-high 46 kills, plus seven blocks and two aces to help Marina to a 12-15, 18-16, 9-15, 15-13, 15-13 victory over second-seeded Torrey Pines. Katie Keating, who had 18 kills, aced the final two serves in Game 5 to break a 13-13 tie and give Marina the victory. Setter Ashlee Phillips had 11 kills and five blocks and middle blocker Grace Boyd had 10 kills, eight blocks and five aces for Marina (20-2). Marina will play Simi Valley Royal, which swept Pacific Palisades.

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