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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Cerritos, Gahr volleyball teams off to slow starts

By Loren Kopff

While the Cerritos girls volleyball team began the 2013 season in the annual Molten Classic, one of the top tournaments every season, Gahr opted out of the event it has hosted for well over 25 years. Still, the Gladiators got the season going this past Tuesday afternoon with a nonleague match against La Serna.

The visiting Lancers swept Gahr 25-16, 25-16, 26-24 despite a match-high 22 kills from senior middle blocker Olouma Okaro. Gahr visited St. Anthony on Sept. 5 and will host St. Matthias on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Cerritos lost the first two matches it played in the Molten Classic on Labor Day but rebounded for a 15-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-20 victory over Carson this past Wednesday. Senior outside hitter Mariah Gonzalez led the Lady Dons with 14 kills while senior right side hitter Jody Suski added 10 kills. Cerritos will wrap up action in the Molten Classic with two more matches on Saturday, then visit Warren on Thursday.

The marquee girls volleyball match of the upcoming week takes place on Tuesday when Valley Christian hosts Downey, which advanced to the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division II-AA quarterfinals last season. They Lady Crusaders knocked off the Vikings in four sets last season on the road. Downey begins this season as the eighth ranked team in the division while V.C. is barely on the outside of the Division II-A top 10.

FOOTBALL

The featured game for tonight may not look sexy on paper but it’s a historic one for the city of Cerritos as Valley Christian and Cerritos meet for the first time ever at Hanford Rants Stadium on the Gahr campus. V.C. is coming off a 28-24 loss to Duarte in its season opener despite a pair of touchdowns from junior running back Jonathan Nicholson and one more from senior running back Darryl Richardson. This will be the first game of the season for the Dons and the first at varsity status since Sept. 14 of last season. Both teams combined for three victories in 13 games played on the field last season.

Elsewhere tonight, Artesia hosts Los Angeles Jordan while Gahr visits Narbonne. Artesia edged Millikan 31-28 in its season opener as senior wide receiver Tytus Simmons returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown, caught a 29-yard score from junior quarterback Jimmy Rodriguez and added another touchdown on the ground. Gahr was blanked by Lakewood 36-0 in its home opener.

CROSS COUNTRY

Cerritos will once again host the seventh annual Great Cow Run Saturday morning at Cerritos Regional Park. Among the 35 teams participating will be Redondo Union, whose boys team is the top ranked team in Division II, and Brea Olinda, whose boys team is number one in Division III. In all, there will be 13 teams from 10 schools participating who are currently ranked in the top 10 in their respective divisions.

On Wednesday, Artesia, Cerritos, Gahr and Whitney will compete in the annual ABC Unified School District Meet, also held at Cerritos Regional Park.

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