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San Pedro Toughs It Out to Win Title

November 19, 2005|Austin Knoblauch | Special to The Times

It was far from easy, but San Pedro proved it's still the girls' volleyball team to beat in the City Section.

Behind stellar, two-way efforts by senior middle blocker Amber McColl and junior middle blocker Alexandra Bubica, top-seeded San Pedro (35-3) overcame a shaky performance in the third game to defend its Championship Division title with a 25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 25-20 victory over second-seeded Woodland Hills Taft (30-8), Friday night at Occidental College.

McColl, playing despite an injured ankle, had 10 kills and 12 blocks for the Pirates and Bubica had seven kills, seven digs and 17 blocks to help stymie the momentum Taft seemed to have in its favor after the third game.

Junior Samantha Taylor turned in an inspiring performance for San Pedro, notching four kills, eight blocks and 29 assists.

"I'm so amazed by this team," San Pedro Coach Christine Kumor said. "We have some players out here tonight who are injured and we still came through against a very talented team. These girls have heart."

San Pedro managed to stay ahead of Taft in the first two games because of its consistency. Taft couldn't duplicate the quality blocking effort turned in by San Pedro's Bubica and McColl, nor could the Toreadors keep a tight cap on their mistakes.

But Taft responded in the third game, digging itself out of a 6-0 deficit against a Pirate squad that at first seemed eager to close out the match.

"I thought we played very well in the third game," Taft Coach Arman Mercado said.

"But my girls lack big-game experience. Many of the girls on San Pedro have been playing together since their freshman year, and if you could have given me one more month with this team, I like our chances in a Game 5."

The Toreadors, who finished runner-up to Van Nuys in 2002, were trying to win their first title

Taft opposite hitter Savannah Thomas, a senior, had seven kills and 12 blocks, and senior outside hitter Jessica Duran had seven kills and eight blocks.

San Pedro, which hadn't dropped a game to a City opponent this season before Friday, became the third team to win consecutive City Section titles.

In the Invitational Division championship, Elizabeth defeated Huntington Park, 25-21, 25-16, 25-22, at Occidental College.

Senior Cynthia Maldonado had nine kills and five aces and senior Cindy Menjivar had 10 kills and five aces to lead Elizabeth (18-11) to its first title. Senior Sonia Funes had 18 digs and junior Gyovanna Serrato had 19 assists and four kills for the Bulldogs.

Arlene Hurtado had nine kills and teammate Mayra Serrano had five for Huntington Park (14-4).

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