Solid brawl control, aegis atom Dons to ambit of La Reina
By Barry Punzal, Noozhawk Sports Editor | @NoozhawkSports | October 16, 2018 | 10:11 p.m.
Santa Barbara High showed aloof how far its appear in girls volleyball this division during the aboriginal set of Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 4 wild-card bout adjoin visiting La Reina.
The Dons roared aback from a 20-12 deficit, outscoring the visiting Regents 13-2 to win the set. That confidence-boosting achievement propelled them to a 25-22, 25-20, 25-22 ambit and a anchorage in Thursday’s capital draw at Moorpark.
“At the alpha of the year, we wrote up on the whiteboard a agglomeration of goals we had for the division and our top ambition was accomplish it into playoffs,” chief setter Ellie Chenoweth said. “We’re absolutely appreciative of ourselves for blame and affair our goal and to move on in CIF.”
Santa Barbara (12-15) did it with terrific brawl control, scrambling defense and boxy confined that threw La Reina (6-10) out of system.
Sopre Hayden Randolph was the key to the Dons’ casual and defense.
“The casual was great,” Chenoweth said. “It absolutely helped us break in arrangement and run some absolutely acceptable plays. I was absolutely appreciative of (Hayden), she did a absolutely acceptable job.”
Coach Ariana Garner was aflame to see her 5-foot-3 libero making big plays.
“She’s a amazing athlete,” Garner said. “She gets assurance lower to the attic than anybody I’ve anytime seen. She’s a stud aback there. This is absolutely her aboriginal year of calm volleyball, and she’s absolutely acute and she’s bent on quick. She is so low to the arena she can bandy her anatomy out there and can can actually get assurance inches from the ground.”
Said Randolph: “I’m the smallest. We had to win this d to move on. I did what I had to do.”
Middle Georgia Brace led an absorbing achievement from the account line, addled off four aces. Chenoweth followed with three aces. The advance was balanced. Avalon Gagnon led the way with eight kills, Annabel Caesar had seven and Talia Medel and Brace anniversary added five. Chenoweth had two blocks.
Put it all calm and the Dons accomplished a aggregation ambition of advancing in the CIF playoffs.
That ambition didn’t assume accessible a ages ago. They often struggled with their brawl ascendancy adjoin the bigger teams.
“We’ve been harping aback Day 1 on brawl control,” Garner said. “If our serve accept and our aegis can be acknowledged afresh our breach will abatement into place. During the middle of the season, we affectionate of had a anticlimax in our aegis and serve receive. In these aftermost two weeks, we really, really honed in, mostly absorption on that aboriginal brawl contact. That’s what we did tonight.
“We additionally accomplished on chargeless balls,” she added. “That additionally was our Achilles heel. In the average of the season, we couldn’t assassinate on chargeless assurance and we couldn’t run plays and tonight we did. We took affliction of the brawl and put the brawl abroad in free-ball sitiuations. Our first-ball contact was dynamite tonight.”
Santa Barbara played with aplomb throughout the match. It acclimated boxy confined and aegis to assemblage from the big arrears in the aboriginal set.
Chenoweth started a three-point run with an ace. Gagnon followed with a annihilate and Caesar denticulate on an off-speed attempt to accompany the account to 21-17.
Brace sided out to accomplish it 21-18 and the Dons went on to account seven beeline credibility abaft the confined of Caesar. She accursed an ace for a 23-22 advance and, on set point, she had La Reina scrambling to get the brawl over. The Regents were whistled for four hits on the acceptable point.
Santa Barbara fell abaft aboriginal in the additional set but fought aback abaft the aegis and passing Randolph and added boxy serving.
After Miranda Duffy ripped a annihilate to accord La Reina an 18-17 led, the Dons answered with a three-point run. Two credibility were a aftereffect of errors by the Regents and the third came off a Caesar kill.
Caesar delivered again, blame a bound set off the block for a point and a 23-20 lead. Chenoweth accomplished the set with two tough-to-handle float serves. The aftermost one alone on the aback band for the acceptable point.
Santa Barbara led for best of the third set, but there were some afraid moments bottomward the stretch.
La Reina went on a three-point run to cut Santa Barbara’s advance to one, 21-20.
Garner alleged a abeyance and the Regents committed a confined absurdity back comedy resumed.
A annihilate bottomward the band by Jade Leste of La Reina fabricated it 22-21.
The Dons were able for crisis time.
“Yesterday in convenance we did drills for the aftermost 30 account and we played from 21-20, our A ancillary adjoin our B side,” Garner said. “We accomplished on closing out the match. I anticipate it paid off today.”
Santa Barbara kept its accord and got back-to-back kills from Brace for a 24-21 lead.
La Reina sided out, but the Dons accomplished off the bout when Chenoweth fed Medel on the alfresco and she put the brawl abroad to complete the sweep.
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