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Girls Volleyball

San Marcos Volleyball Eliminated in First Round by Flintridge Sacred Heat

Kendall Williams Click to view larger
Kendall Williams of San Marcos hits through the block of Flintridge Sacred Heart’s Ellie Lund (left) and Julia Powers. Williams had 12 kills. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo)

San Marcos took a stunning blow in the first set of Thursday’s CIF-SS Division 2 girls volleyball playoffs at Maury Halleck Gym.

Flintridge Sacred Heart blasted away from the service line and ripped some sizzling spikes from both pins to startle the Channel League champions and throw them out of sync.

The Royals eventually adjusted but were unable to keep pace and fell in three sets, 25-14, 26-24, 25-21.

“They run a fast offense and they have some really dynamic outside hitters, obviously,” San Marcos coach Tina Brown said of the Tologs, who finished fourth in the highly competitive Mission League, which includes Division 1 powers Marymount and Harvard Westlake. “We thought we had a pretty good game plan going into it, but they exposed (our middles), and our passing really didn't enable us to run our middles at all."

FSH did most of its damage from its outside hitters.

Peyton Dejardin and Dani Thomas-Nathan played way beyond their freshman years for the Tologs. They were smacking balls hard down the line and to extreme angles. Senior Megan Lund also was a force on the outside for Flintridge Sacred Heart. DeJardin led the team with 15 kills, Thomas-Nathan had 11 and Lund had six.

“Our league prepares us,” said FSH coach Ernest Banaag of his team's high caliber of play  “Even though we came in fourth, we battled with Marymount and Harvard Westlake and Notre Dame. San Marcos is a great team. We just had to come out and think like they’re one of our league opponents. That was our mindset.”

Taylor Wilson Click to view larger
Taylor Wilson hits high over the Flintridge Sacred Heart blockers. Wilson finished with six kills. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo)

San Marcos fell behind 12-6 in the second set, but the hitting of Kendall Williams, Taylor Wilson and Bella Johnson on the outside rallied the Royals. 

Williams led the team with 12 kills Johnson put away 10 and Wilson had six.

“Our outside hitters had a great night,” Brown said. “Kendall Williams had one of the best nights she’s ever had, she played her heart out. Kudos to her in her last night in this gym. She really laid it out on the floor.

“Bella Johnson was pretty solid.”

An off-speed shot by Wilson pulled the Royals to within one, 19-18. They went on a three-point run on a side out by Williams, a block by Ellie Gamberdella and a great dig by libero Grace Mathews followed by a Williams kill.

But FSH responded with the final two points on kills by Dejardin.

“A team like that doesn’t make a whole lot of unforced errors,” said Brown.

The Tologs jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the third set.

San Marcos chipped away and got as close as 23-21. The Royals then shanked a free ball and FSH put away the next ball for the final point.

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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