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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Cerritos girls volleyball ends first round with tough loss to Mayfair

By Loren Kopff

 

One week after posting its biggest win of the season, a five-set affair at Norwalk, the Cerritos girls volleyball team quickly lost momentum at the top of the Suburban League. In a battle of teams tied for second place, Mayfair swept the Lady Dons 25-23, 25-23, 25-15 this past Tuesday at Cerritos.

Cerritos dropped to 7-10 overall and 4-2 in the circuit, slipping to third place in the process. The hosts had their biggest lead of the match at the beginning as junior outside hitter Lauren Oh served three straight points following an opening kill from junior libero Nicole Medina. Mayfair would tie the set at 4-4 and both teams would be tied seven more times with the lead changing hands three times until a block from Monique Awanyai put the Monsoons up 17-16.

Cerritos was down by four points until Mayfair was called for a double hit violation and senior outside hitter Brittney Freeman and senior middle blocker Kaitlyn Bales each had kills. But Skyler Williams ended the set with her fourth kill.

Both teams traded two points here, two points there in the early going in the second set before Sarah Clausen served three straight points to give Mayfair the lead for good at 10-6. The Lady Dons were unable to put together more than four consecutive points the remainder of the match but did get to within a point twice late in the second set.

Sophomore middle blocker Ioefoma Okoli led Cerritos with eight kills while Bales and Oh each had seven kills. Oh also had five aces while senior middle blocker Crystal Amalu served three aces and had a pair of blocks. Cerritos hosted sixth place Artesia on Oct. 16 and will visit last place Bellflower on Tuesday in preparation for its rematch with league-leading La Mirada on Oct. 28.

In other girls volleyball action, Artesia ended a 24-match losing streak against Suburban League teams when the Pioneers swept Bellflower 26-24, 25-19, 25-16 this past Tuesday. The last time Artesia won a league match was Oct. 3, 2012, a five-set home victory against John Glenn and the last time the Pioneers swept a league team was Oct. 20, 2010, against Norwalk. The Pioneers will host La Mirada on Tuesday and visit Glenn on Thursday.

Gahr won back to back matches for the first time all season when the Gladiators swept Bellflower 25-10, 25-23, 25-5 this past Wednesday. It came 24 hours after Gahr swept Dominguez for at least the past 31st straight time. With Gahr leading 6-5 in the first set, sophomore middle blocker Shantelle Marshall, who was recently called up from the junior varsity team, put down a kill before junior libero Naomi Belgrave served five straight points, the first three being aces. Later in the set, junior defensive specialist Christal Constantino reeled off eight straight points.

Bellflower rallied from a 6-1 deficit to take a 7-6 lead in the second set. Moments later, the Buccaneers would lead again, at 11-9, and had a 22-21 lead late in the set before a serving error, a block from senior middle blocker Jor’Dyn Flanagan and a kill from junior setter Niahni Moultry put Gahr in front for good.

Gahr (5-12 overall) scored the final 10 points of the third set thanks to five aces from senior defensive specialist Kassandra Velasquez and two kills each from Moultry and senior outside hitter Destiny Hayes. Hayes and Marshall led Gahr with six kills each while Moultry and junior Tyra Parrish each had five kills. Gahr hosted Lynwood on Oct. 16 and will entertain Warren on Tuesday in a battle for second place. The Gladiators will visit Paramount on Thursday.

John Glenn, which was swept by La Mirada and Cerritos to end the first round of league, got back into action on Oct. 16 with a home match against Norwalk. The Lady Eagles (9-8, 2-4) will travel to Mayfair on Tuesday. Norwalk ended the first round of league action when La Mirada swept the Lady Lancers 25-18, 25-16, 25-5 this past Tuesday. The defending league champions fell to 9-8, 3-3 and will host Mayfair on Thursday.

FOOTBALL

Gahr dropped a 47-28 decision to host Warren in the San Gabriel Valley League opener last Friday night. It was the sixth loss in the last seven games on Warren’s home turf and it marked the fifth time in the last six seasons Gahr has lost its league opener. The Gladiators (3-3, 0-1) will host Paramount tonight on homecoming night.

John Glenn returned to action after a week off and lost to La Mirada 59-15 last Friday night. The Eagles (2-4, 0-2) will host Mayfair tonight at Goodman Stadium in La Mirada,

Norwalk (4-2, 2-0) returns to action tonight when it travels to Artesia. The Lancers are averaging 42.8 points in their four victories while allowing 8.8. points over that same time.

Valley Christian fell to Maranatha 38-13 last Friday night on the road in the Olympic League opener. The Crusaders (4-3, 0-1) have lost two in a row and three of their last four games. They will entertain Whittier Christian tonight at Crusader Field on homecoming night.