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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | PLAYOFF ROUNDUP

Sylmar Takes Down Palisades in 3 Games

November 09, 2000|STEVE GALLUZZO

The City Section will crown a new girls' volleyball champion this season.

Sylmar High made sure of that by dethroning two-time defending title-holder Palisades, 15-7, 15-9, 15-11, on Wednesday night in the City Championship quarterfinals.

The top-seeded Spartans (15-0) avenged a four-game loss to the Dolphins in the City final last season and extended their consecutive-game winning streak to 45.

"I was actually glad when I heard that Palisades beat Taft in the first round," Sylmar Coach Bob Thomson said. "Because I knew my girls would be a lot more motivated to play them."

Opposite hitter Stephanie Cisneros led Sylmarwith 27 kills and four aces.

Nancy Ariza had 19 kills and Sally Teague added 11 for the Spartans, who will host fifth-seeded San Pedro in the semifinals Tuesday.

"We knew they were going to be good, we knew they were going to play good defense," Cisneros said. "But I really wanted another chance at them. I wanted us to take back what they took from us in the finals."

Senior setter Barbara Smiley had 46 assists and 20 digs for Sylmar, which was in danger of losing its first game of the season when Cisneros hit long to pull ninth-seeded Palisades (11-4) to within 12-11 in game three.

But Cisneros and Katrina Delaney combined to block a shot by outside hitter Lauren Joseph for a crucial sideout.

"I can't do what I do without her," Cisneros said of Smiley. "She can see where the blockers are and knows when I'm hungry for the ball. She's the player that makes our offense tick."

Sylmar squandered four match points before closing the Dolphins out.

"We seem to play just well enough to win and our defense was a little off tonight," Thomson said. "We let too many balls drop.

"But you have to give them credit. Any time a team wins 21 of 26 titles, you have to respect their program. But we haven't lost since they beat us last year and we feel like we're equal with them now."

Joseph led Palisades with 11 kills and Lauren Hoffman added 13 digs, seven kills and three aces.

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