Girls Volleyball: La Jolla Country Day School avenges earlier loss to Bishop’s, 3-1
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL (School, Score)
• La Jolla Country Day School Torreys, 3
• The Bishop’s School Knights, 1
By Ed Piper
The La Jolla Country Day women’s volleyball team avenged an earlier loss to crosstown league rival The Bishop’s School Nov. 7, 2013 spoiling the host Lady Knights’ Senior Night, 3-1. The Torreys won three straight sets after dropping the first one to send both teams into CIF playoffs beginning this week.
Six-foot senior hitter Raeann Greisen powered Bishop’s to a 25-20 initial win. But then the Torreys, behind hitter Arela Williams and setter Annie Hasselmann, roared back to upset the sixth-ranked Lady Knights, 25-20, 26-24, 25-21, in the final three sets to win the match.
In the pivotal third set, with each team splitting the first two sets, Country Day lost a 20-18 lead to fall behind 23-21. But then the Torreys regrouped to force a timeout called by Bishop’s coach Tom Mattox with Country Day leading 25-24, finally winning that set 26-24 on a smash by Williams off the block.
“I was just thinking, ‘Stay calm, don’t get nervous. Just do your job, and just go back to the basics,’ ” said Arela Williams. The 5-foot, 8-inch Williams plays effectively at the net against 6-foot opponents because of her explosive leaping ability and timing.
Bishop’s, playing with poise even while losing ground to the visitors, didn’t go quietly in the fourth set. An initially loud student cheering section, by now somewhat muted, exhorted their team to come back from being down 23-15.
Sophomore setter Camille Stepanof, who ended up with 26 assists, and outside hitters Jayda Howard, Abby Bertics and Ashley Peng, were effective, among others. The Lady Knights scored six straight points.
Meanwhile, Country Day coach Peter Ogle called two timeouts to push reset. Hasselman’s lefthanded spike to make it 25-21 was the final nail in the coffin.
Hasselmann, who has come back after being unable to play earlier in the season, said: “We fought really hard. We were really ready to come out and win because of last week’s game (losing to Bishop’s at home). We really wanted to prove that we could beat them.”
Said Greisen, a senior captain: “(The third set) was a key moment. If we had won that, it probably would have changed the whole match. We fought, and both sides got some lucky calls. It was a battle. It was fun to be part of.”
Mattox used l2 of the 14 active players on his roster in the first two sets, an unusually high number, in a sport that puts only six players on the floor at one time.
Bishop’s seniors honored before the match, besides Greisen, included defensive specialist Kelly Vogel, middle blocker Reyna Haile, and Erin Hook, who has a broken metatarsal bone in her right foot and hobbled out onto the court in the pregame ceremony on crutches.
“We just played really well,” LJCD coach Ogle said. “Actually, the last three matches we played really well. It’s fun. It’s a good time to be playing well (entering playoffs).”
Said Mattox, who was smiling afterward despite the loss after being vocal to his girls during the match: “It was a fun match. Both teams fought hard. We have a lot of respect for them. I thought they out-defended us at the end a little bit. Hey, when you out-defend us, you have to respect that and they deserve to win. I thought our kids played hard. I was proud of their effort.”
LJCD freshman middle blocker Shaney Lipscomb said about her senior teammates: “Honestly, they’re some of the greatest girls. They have brought me in, not like I’m a freshman, but like a teammate.”
Bishop’s (7-3 in the Coastal South conference, 21-11 overall) opened CIF Division II first-round playoff action Tues., Nov. 12, versus Santana. LJCD (6-4 in league, 20-11 overall), playing in the Open Division, opens its CIF playoff action Sat., Nov. 16, at La Costa Canyon at 5 p.m.
• GAME STATS:
Kills: Bishop’s – Greisen 23, Gretchen Cash 12. LJCD – Williams 18, Hasselmann 13.
Assists: Bishop’s – Stepanof 26. LJCD – Hasselmann 32.
Digs: LJCD — Cassidy Rooke 23.
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- Torreys on brink of another title
- Country Day takes on Santa Fe Christian in pursuit of state title
- La Jolla Country Day volleyball advances in state tournament
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