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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 7:45 pm | Fair 52º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Girls Volleyball

Laguna Blanca Beats Hemet, Advances to CIF Semis

Maddy Nicolson’s hitting sparked Laguna Blanca in the fourth set at Hemet. Click to view larger
Maddy Nicolson’s hitting sparked Laguna Blanca in the fourth set at Hemet. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk file photo)

Laguna Blanca advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 girls volleyball semifinals with a 25-19, 25-21, 16-25, 25-15 victory over a physical Hemet team on Saturday.

Maddy Nicolson continued her hot play in the postseason, pounding 17 kills to lead the Owls. Caylin Zimmerman was a force on defense with 32 digs and had 9 kills. Libero Sophia Fay picked up 29 digs. Julia Fay recorded 10 kills and Laurel Kujan provided 7 kills and 11 digs after missing Thursday's second-round match with an illness.

Setter Kelly Bickett did a nice job moving the ball around, dishing out 47 assists.

"We battled tonight in a great match against a really good team," Laguna assistant Kat Niksto said. "We were proud of how the girls responded in game 4, after losing our way in the third set. Laurel got on a serving run late in the game and Maddy had one of the best hitting games of the year.

"Hemet was larger than us physically, but all our blockers, especially Kathryn Norris, did a great job of executing our game plan and slowing down their biggest hitters," Niksto added.

The top-seeded Owls (23-1) will host Woodcrest Christian on Tuesday night at Merovick Gym. The winner advances to the championship match next Saturday.

Laguna Blanca is a defending Southern Section champion, winning the Division 4AA title.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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