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Engle Able to Carry Esperanza to Title

November 20, 2005|Lauren Peterson

As Ashley Engle collapsed, hitting the floor in joy and relief once the last of her prodigious spikes had landed, her delirious teammates climbed onto her back even as the Anaheim Esperanza senior tried to get up.

It wasn't the first time the outside hitter had carried the Aztecs on Saturday night at Cypress College

Engle finished with 28 kills, six digs and two blocks for top-seeded Esperanza, which came from behind to defeat third-seeded Long Beach Wilson, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-17, and claim the Aztecs' second Southern Section Division I-AA championship in three years.

"It's OK, I love the dog pile," said Engle, a left-hander who will play at Texas next year. "Anytime you get here, you want to win it, and this is special. It's CIF, my senior year. It's a great win."

Christy Hudson added 11 kills in 20 attempts and Jessica Welch had 39 assists and six digs for Esperanza (28-4), but the rest of the Aztecs were mostly carried along in the wave of kills and success fostered by Engle.

Sparked by Delaware-bound senior outside hitter Stephanie Barry (18 kills) and junior opposite hitter Elise Hendrickson (11 kills), Wilson (24-9) won the first game and challenged the Aztecs in each of the other ones before Engle stepped up.

"That's all her," Esperanza Coach Isaac Owens said of Engle. "She just makes everybody else around her better."

-- Lauren Peterson

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