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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | ROUNDUP

Loyola Is Too Much for Royal

April 13, 2001|STEVE GALLUZZO | From Staff Reports

Against most opponents, the Royal High boys' volleyball team can afford a few mental lapses. But against an opponent of equal ability, no loss of concentration goes unpunished.

With the No. 2 ranking in Division II at stake, the Highlanders were two points away from forcing a decisive fifth game in Thursday's nonleague match at Loyola. But none of Royal's players reacted to a serve by outside hitter Chris Benton and the ball landed in the middle of the court.

David Frash blocked Highlander David Russell on the next point to complete Loyola's 15-10, 16-14, 8-15, 15-13 victory.

"That was a classic case of everyone expecting the guy next to him to make the play and instead nobody did," Coach Bob Ferguson of Royal (16-3) said. "But . . . we lost because we spotted a great team two games and when you put yourself in that situation, you can't always dig your way out."

The match showcased two of the best players in Southern California--Russell and opposite hitter Derek Otte of Loyola.

Russell, a 6-6 senior headed to UCLA, had 32 kills in 55 attempts and six blocks. Otte led the Cubs (10-1) with 30 kills and four blocks.

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