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Valley / Ventura County Sports | HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP

Niles and Calabasas Leave No Questions After Victory

September 25, 1998|MIKE BRESNAHAN

The question before was whether Sasha Hernandez of Alemany High would play despite a torn knee ligament.

The question after was whether Brooke Niles of Calabasas could be stopped . . . by anybody.

Niles had 25 kills to lead Calabasas to a 15-6, 16-14, 15-12 victory Thursday night in a nonleague girls' volleyball match at Alemany.

Niles attacked from the front and back court and mixed up her speed on the ball brilliantly, hitting around--or through--the block.

The Coyotes (6-0), ranked No. 3 in the region by The Times, are a different team mentally than a year ago.

"Last year, we came in thinking, 'OK, yeah, we can win, but not really,' " Niles said. "This year, we're more competitive. I guess you could say we're kind of more cocky, but not really."

Alemany (3-2) led in the second game, 14-10, and third game, 12-11, and showed plenty of desire on defense, but couldn't finish without the offense of Hernandez.

Hernandez, a senior, injured her knee two weeks ago and postponed surgery in part so she could play in this match.

Hernandez suited up and wore a cumbersome brace, but did not receive clearance to play from a doctor.

"She was telling me to put her in the whole time," Alemany Coach Susan Terrusa said. "I felt like it, but I didn't want to sacrifice her future."

Hernandez, who practiced with the team twice this week, cried after the match and said she will opt for season-ending surgery.

"If we had Sasha, we would have definitely beat them," Terrusa said. "I don't think it would have been close."

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