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Newport Harbor Aces Way to Second Round

November 27, 2002|Dan Arritt

Top-seeded Newport Harbor opened the Southern California Regional Division II girls' volleyball playoffs with a 15-4, 15-6, 15-11 victory over Bakersfield Highland on Tuesday night at Newport Harbor High.

The Sailors (27-6) served nine aces against Highland (10-10), including three by Alyson Jennings, who closed out the one-hour match with an ace.

Newport Harbor Coach Dan Glenn said his only concerns were the lack of familiarity with Highland, the Central Section runner-up, and the Santa Ana winds that blew through the area the last two days.

Glenn said the dust kicked up by the winds made the court slippery, and the conditions tend to make players lackadaisical.

"The kids are different in the classroom too," Glenn said.

"It's one of the things you have to think about before a match like this."

With the victory, Newport Harbor has won 12 consecutive matches, including four sweeps along the way to winning the Southern Section Division II-AA title.

The Sailors are seeking their fifth state title, having won Division I titles in 1994, 1998 and 1999, and a Division II title in 1992.

As the top-seeded team in their bracket, the Sailors enjoy home-court advantage throughout the regionals.

That wasn't the case in the section playoffs, when Newport Harbor was home only for its opening match.

"We won't have to make a four-hour trip to [Bakersfield] Liberty, like we did last year," Glenn said.

Newport Harbor will play host to South Torrance in the second round on Saturday.

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