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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW : Cerritos girls volleyball continues dominance over Norwalk schools

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter


There are four schools that the Cerritos High girls volleyball team has dominated for nearly two decades and half of them are located in Norwalk. The Lady Dons began their final season in the Suburban League by knocking off host Norwalk High last Thursday 25-18, 25-15,22-25, 25-21, then easily swept John Glenn High 25-9, 25-11, 25-17 this past Tuesday.

The win over the Lady Lancers was the 33rd in the past 39 meetings and started with the Lady Dons jumping out to leads of 8-4 and 12-5 in the opening set thanks to three aces each from junior defensive specialist Sidney Pasion and senior outside hitter Amber Han. The lead would eventually grow to nine points (18-9) following an ace from senior libero Kea Minami, the eighth ace from Cerritos along with 14 kills.

In the second set, Norwalk tried to stay close in the opening minutes, reeling off three straight points thanks to two aces from senior defensive specialist Valerie Zavala. But a double hit violation allowed Pasion to serve four straight points and give Cerritos a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the set.

The Lady Dons (4-0 overall, 2-0 in league) were seeking their second straight sweep over Norwalk and were looking good with leads of 7-4 and 11-7 in the third set. But trailing 19-18, a net serve gave the ball to Norwalk senior defensive specialist Julia Sanchez and from there, a kill from junior middle blocker Pricilla Martinez and a Sanchez ace put the Lady Lancers up 21-19 before Cerritos called a timeout.

Norwalk (6-3, 1-1) seemed to have the momentum in the fourth set, leading 6-2 after three straight aces from senior setter Danielle Gomez. However, the Lady Dons battled back and clinging to a 21-20 advantage, junior outside hitter Samantha Oh had a pair of kills around a block from senior middle blocker Muna Okoli, her second of the match, for the final surge.

Oh led everyone with 14 kills while Han (13 kills), senior middle blocker Kelly Amalu (10 kills, two blocks) and sophomore right side hitter Nicole Blue and Okoli each pitched in with eight kills. Norwalk was led by senior opposite hitter Elexus Moralez and sophomore outside hitter Alejandra Macias with eight and seven kills respectively.

Cerritos will participate in the Valley Christian/Bellflower Tournament on Saturday, facing El Segundo High, Oaks Christian High and Trinity Classical High in pool play action before visiting Artesia High on Tuesday. The Lady Dons will then host Bellflower High on Thursday in the first of five straight home matches. Norwalk will compete in the Whittier Tournament today and Saturday before visiting Glenn on Tuesday.

In other girls volleyball action, Artesia dropped a 25-11, 25-20, 25-10 decision to Mayfair High this past Tuesday in its league opener. The Pioneers (4-4, 0-1) will face Brea Olinda High, Gahr High and Long Beach Wilson High in pool play action of the V.C./Bellflower Tournament and will also host La Mirada High on Thursday. Norwalk will compete in the Whittier Tournament today and Saturday before visiting Glenn on Tuesday.


Gahr High (2-1) @ Artesia (2-0)-The second of three legs for supremacy in the ABC Unified School District shifts to Atkins Stadium where the host Pioneers are looking for their second straight 3-0 start. Last season, Gahr routed Artesia 56-7, jumping out to a 35-0 halftime lead. Gahr is coming off a 48-0 win over Cerritos last Friday while Artesia has scored 40 points in its first two games.

Cerritos (0-3) @ Beverly Hills High (0-3)-Someone is going to come away happy and the Dons hope the bus ride home on the 405 freeway is all smiles. The Normans have been outscored 89-14 and scored their first points of the season against Malibu High last Friday. Cerritos has been blasted in two of its first three games and has been outscored 120-11.

Glenn (2-1) @ Hoover High (0-2)-On paper, the Eagles are primed for their third victory in a season, something they haven’t had since 2011.Both victories have been by shutouts and the offense is rolling to the tune of 86 points. A win over the Tornadoes, who had to forfeit last Friday’s game against Sotomayor High, would go a long way as the next game for the Eagles is the Suburban League opener against Cerritos.

Dominguez High (1-2) @ Norwalk (3-0)-Last season, the Lancers got by the Dons 21-13 and look to remain hot as the nonleague portion of their slate comes to an end. Dominguez got into the win column last Friday with a 42-0 victory over Los Angeles High while Norwalk has two wins of 13 and 14 points plus a 42-15 victory over Long Beach Jordan High.

Rancho Christian High (2-1) @ Valley Christian (1-2)-After blasting Bellflower High by 29 points the previous week, the Crusaders dropped a 32-22 decision to St. Margaret’s High last Friday as the Tartars scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to break a 22-22 tie. The Eagles went 14-2 last season and the school has been around for less than 10 years. Rancho Christian has scored 77 points in the two wins after being whitewashed by Murrieta Mesa 48-0 in the opener.