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Chaparral Proves Too Much

November 17, 2002|Lauren Peterson; Dan Arritt | From Staff Reports

Downey Warren's volleyball team doesn't have anyone taller than 5 feet 9 on its roster, and Saturday night the Bears' lack of height and their opponent's abundance of it finally caught up with them.

Fourth-seeded Temecula Chaparral rallied to defeat No. 5 Warren, 11-15, 15-8, 15-12, 15-11, in a Southern Section Division I-A quarterfinal playoff match at Downey High.

The victory gave Chaparral its first semifinal berth after the Pumas had been eliminated in the quarterfinals each of the last four seasons.

Sophomore Kelli Tennant led the Pumas (24-8) with 26 kills and Creighton-bound outside hitter Kandace Scarlett had 19 kills and five digs. Setters Savanah Parra and Kylie Morel had 32 and 26 assists, respectively.

"It meant a lot to me to be a part of this, and it meant a lot to the seniors who got to the quarters the last four years," Tennant said.

Despite the loss, the match also meant a lot to Warren.

The Bears (27-2) also had been trying for their first semifinal berth, with an undersized team that consistently overachieved behind sisters Jessie and Jenny Shull and 5-9 middle blocker Brianne Huff, the tallest player on the team.

Jessie, a 5-6 senior setter, had 28 assists against Chaparral and Jenny, a 5-4 junior outside hitter, had 26 kills.

But neither their efforts, nor 13 kills and four blocks by Huff were enough against the Pumas, who had seven players 5-11 and taller.

It was a familiar predicament, but one the Bears had previously been able to overcome with intelligent, effective ball control and scrappy, competitive play.

The Bears entered Saturday with a 23-match winning streak, their only loss coming in a four-game match against Long Beach Wilson in the championship match of the Gahr Tournament. Wilson is the top-seeded team in the Division I-AA playoffs and the top-ranked team in The Times' rankings.

"Everybody knows we're not an offensive powerhouse," first-year Coach Scott Lane said. "We outhustle people, that's it."

The Bears were disappointed they couldn't do it again against Chaparral.

"We're a good team, just a real good unit," Jenny Shull said. "I felt like we were in every game and we did what we could."

-- Lauren Peterson

*The expansion that occurred within Southern Section Division V boys' water polo had a big impact in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. That's when division newcomers La Verne Damien, Chino Hills Ayala and Upland earned victories.

Ayala scored an 8-7 upset over fourth-seeded Palm Desert, Upland knocked off third-seeded Murrieta Valley, 8-5, and second-seeded Damien slipped by Claremont, 10-6. The other semifinalist is top-seeded Riverside Poly, which defeated Redlands, 18-5. Coin flips Monday will determine game sites for semifinals on Wednesday.

"These teams have been playing each other all season and it has stayed competitive out there," said Riverside Poly Coach Mark Colwell. "From the beginning, everybody said any one of the top six teams could win the title."

The division was forced to add Division VI teams Damien and Ayala and Division III's Upland after those programs were forced to switch leagues when rival schools eliminated water polo for budget reasons.

Poly (26-4), which also switched leagues, will get a much-anticipated rematch with Ayala, which defeated the Bears, 12-10, in a league game two weeks ago, forcing a three-way tie for first with Damien.

Ayala (24-6), which lost a coin flip and had to settle for the league's No. 3 entrant, eliminated visiting Palm Desert on a last-second man-advantage goal by Daniel Blyskol.

-- Dan Arritt





Matt Dale, Santa Maria Righetti: Had four goals in a 10-7 Division IV quarterfinal victory over Oxnard Rio Mesa, which was led by Justin Burdin's four goals.

Ryan Moore, Corona del Mar: Scored the game-winning goal with less than four minutes to play in a 6-5 Division I quarterfinal victory over Santa Ana Foothill.

Jimmy Ogunmola and John Prunckle, Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula: Ogunmola scored the game-winning goal with 1:40 left and Prunckle had 18 saves in an 8-7 Division III quarterfinal victory over San Marino.


Jessica Harris, Pasadena Mayfield: Swept 6-3, 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singles in an 11-7 Division III second-round victory over Garden Grove Bolsa Grande.

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