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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW Area volleyball teams end regular season, prepare for postseason next week

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter

The regular season for girls volleyball ended this past Tuesday with most of the matches being pushed back due to the excessive triple digit heat. Five of the area’s seven high schools had already punched their tickets to the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section divisional playoffs before this past Tuesday. Brackets were released on Oct. 26 with wild card action, if applicable, beginning on Saturday and first round action commencing on Tuesday.

Cerritos High, which has had a rough last week of the regular season, edged La Mirada High on the road 19-25, 21-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-13 to wind up 15-7 overall and 9-3 in the Suburban League, good for second place. The Lady Dons, who have finished in second place three consecutive seasons with identical 9-3 league marks, will be advancing to the playoffs for the 15th straight season.

Gahr High, which had already locked down second place in the San Gabriel Valley League, fell to league champion Downey High 22-25, 25-21, 8-25, 22-25 to finish at 8-12 overall and 7-3 in the circuit. This will be the ninth straight postseason appearance for Gahr, which has moved past the first round just once during that stretch.

Norwalk High swept Artesia High 25-22, 25-22, 25-11 and will enter the playoffs with an overall mark of 15-10 and a league record of 7-5, good for third place with Bellflower High and La Mirada tied for fourth place. This will be Norwalk’s seventh straight trip to the playoffs.

Valley Christian High is the second place representative out of the Olympic League following a 25-16, 26-24, 22-25, victory against Heritage Christian High. The Lady Crusaders ended the regular season at 20-7 overall and 6-2 in the circuit and will be making their eighth consecutive trip to the playoffs. During that time, V.C. has advanced to the second round five times.

For the first time since 2013, Whitney High will move on to the postseason. The Lady Wildcats, who won three of their last four matches of the regular season, conclude the regular season at 6-19 and went 5-7 in the Academy League, good for fourth place. It’s the second straight season Whitney has finished with six wins in the regular season.

FOOTBALL

Cerritos (1-7 overall, 0-4 in the Suburban League) @ Artesia (3-5, 1-3)-Both teams had high aspirations of better seasons and possible playoff berths. Instead, it has been the opposite as the Dons are riding a four-game losing streak in which they have scored 51 points while the Pioneers are on a three-game slide but still scoring and staying in two of those contests. Artesia has put up at least 29 points in six of the eight games thus far. Artesia has won six straight in this series and this will be Artesia’s homecoming game.

Gahr (7-1, 3-0 in the San Gabriel Valley League) @ Paramount High (7-1, 3-0)-The league title is on the line as the Gladiators, ranked fifth in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division 10 poll visits the second ranked team in Division 5. Gahr’s defense was exposed last Friday night against Warren High, yielding a season-high 42 points. But the offense continues to surge, scoring at least 30 points in five of the last six games. Paramount has outscored their last two opponents by a combined score of 98-7 and the offense has scored at least 40 points in six of their victories. The Gladiators, who are seeing their first league title in more than 20 seasons, have lost six straight to the Pirates.

La Mirada (4-5, 4-1) @ John Glenn (5-3, 2-2)-The Eagles have had two weeks to reflect on their stunning loss to Bellflower High on Oct. 13 and are still mathematically alive for a playoff berth. To do that, they need to win their final two games of the regular season against the top two teams in the Suburban League. The Matadores have won four straight games by a combined score of 190-70 and have defeated the Eagles at least 19 straight times.

Valley Christian (6-2, 1-0 in the Olympic League) @ Whittier Christian High (3-5, 0-2)-The Crusaders are ranked fifth in Division 8 and take a big step towards their third straight league title with a win. Since 1998, V.C. is 7-1 on the road against the Heralds and has won four straight in the series. Whittier Christian has allowed over 300 points, something that bodes well for the Crusaders, who have torched the scoreboard for 251 points during their five-game winning streak and 336 for the season. A victory will set up a winner-take-all situation at Heritage Christian High the following week to end the regular season.