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Chaminade Gets Down, Ousts Village Christian

Boys' volleyball: Eagles on the verge of elimination, 9-4, in the fourth game before rallying for 15-6, 7-15, 12-15, 15-13, 15-9 victory.


GLENDALE — Chaminade High and on-court stability will never be confused with each other.

The Eagles are prone to hit the highest of highs in any boys' volleyball match, with Paul Jocas setting one of his two sterling outside hitters for easy kills.

Then there's the other side of the Eagles . . . the service errors, the unforced hitting errors, the poor passing, the penchant to give away points in bunches.

Fortunately for Chaminade, the highs outpaced the lows in a 15-6, 7-15, 12-15, 15-13, 15-9 victory over Village Christian in a Southern Section Division III semifinal Wednesday night at Glendale College.

Adam Hickerson drilled 33 kills and Brian Bardos added 30 for second-seeded Chaminade, which plays top-seeded Santa Ynez in the championship Saturday at Cypress College at 1 p.m.

The Eagles (19-3) trailed in games, 2-1, and in fourth-game points, 9-4, before they hit the comeback trail.

Hickerson and Bardos each had seven kills in the fourth game.

In the fifth game, Chaminade overcame a 7-3 deficit and scored 12 of the last 14 points. The Eagles will play in their first championship match.

"I knew we were going to win," said the UCLA-bound Jocas, who finished with 82 assists. "We were playing a horrible match.

"We finally started playing our game and it was all over from there."

Ken Benesh had 26 kills and Nick Manghelli added 23 for third-seeded Village Christian (24-1).

The Crusaders served well in winning game two and rode the arm of Benesh, who had seven kills, in winning the third game.

But after losing a five-point lead in game four, the Crusaders never seemed to recover.

"We knew they were very emotional," said Coach Bill Schnobrich of Village Christian. "We knew no lead was safe with them."

Chaminade had much more five-game experience than Village Christian. The Eagles lost to Loyola and Alemany, and defeated Alemany and Laguna Beach in five-game matches.

Village Christian, on the other hand, did not have more than a four-game match all season.

"We've been there," said Coach Eric Dick of Chaminade. "They haven't."

Chaminade can't afford to fall behind against Santa Ynez, a traditional powerhouse that has produced the likes of George Roumain and Andy Witt, both members of the U.S. national team.

Santa Ynez features 6-foot-9 middle blocker Matt Mosebar, 6-6 middle blocker Matt McKinney, 6-6 setter J.T. Gilmour and 6-2 outside hitter Charlie Witt, who has committed to USC.

"All I've heard about is how big they are," Dick said.

"We have to set up a solid block and play good defense around it.

"Hopefully, we can wear them out."

Said Jocas: "We're going to have to practice hard. That's for sure. We have to rest up and play our best."

Chaminade, which tied for second in the Mission League, continued its best season in school history.

Dick joked about the Eagles' up-and-down style.

"That's part of our psychological ploy," he said, before getting serious.

"I'm still kind of in awe."

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