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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Balanced attack gives Norwalk spikers another sweep over John Glenn

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter


Although they have been city rivals for over 50 years, this season may be the last time the Norwalk High girls volleyball team hosts John Glenn High. If that’s the case, since Glenn will be moving into the new 605 League next year, then the Lady Lancers left a lasting impression on the school from the east side of Norwalk.

For the 13th consecutive time, Norwalk defeated the Lady Eagles this past Tuesday to improve to 10-7 overall and 2-2 in the Suburban League. The Lady Lancers dominated the Lady Eagles 25-11, 25-12, 25-20 and since 1998, Norwalk has won 11 of 20 home matches with 13 victories out of the previous 39 meetings coming in sweeps.

Glenn was never in the first set as the hosts bolted out to an 11-1 lead with senior middle blocker Tais Guzman and junior outside hitter Marissa Reyna each spiking three kills. Senior setter Danielle Gomez also had a big part in the scoring spree, serving six straight points with a pair of aces. Moments later, senior defensive specialist Valerie Zavala served five straight points as Norwalk advanced the lead to 18-5.

Glenn (6-6, 0-3) tried to hang with the Lady Lancers in the second set, leading 3-2 and 7-6 early. But a pivotal rotation violation gave possession back to Norwalk and Zavala’s serving strung together 10 points with four of those coming on aces. In fact, Norwalk would have scoring sprees of at least four points eight times.

The Lady Eagles surprised Norwalk in the third set by racing to a 5-0 lead behind two kills each from junior middle blocker Denise Cardenas and junior middle blocker Paola Ramirez. Glenn would continue to maintain a lead that reached six points on three different occasions. But at 18-12, a net violation turned the possession to Norwalk and Reyna served four straight points. Then with Glenn clinging to a 19-17 advantage, Zavala had two aces to put the Lady Lancers in front for good.

Reyna led everyone with 10 kills while Gomez and junior middle blocker Priscilla Martinez each had seven kills. The Lady Lancers will host Mayfair High on Tuesday and Artesia High on Thursday. Ramirez had seven of the 19 kills the Lady Eagles would get while Cardenas added another five kills. Glenn will visit Artesia on Tuesday and Bellflower High on Thursday.

In other volleyball action, Artesia began the season with four straight wins but since then, has gone on a nine-match losing streak. The Pioneers fell to Bellflower 25-18, 25-19, 25-19 last Thursday, then was swept in their three pool play matches in the Valley Christian/Bellflower Tournament last Saturday. Artesia picked up a total of 15 points against Gahr High, 22 points against Brea Olinda High and 23 points against Long Beach Wilson High. Senior setter Mika Gebers had a total of 12 kills in the three pool play matches while senior outside hitter Ayanna Jimenez added eight kills. Artesia then fell to Cerritos High 25-12, 25-12, 25-8 this past Tuesday.

Gahr (1-6 overall) lost to Wilson 25-17, 27-26 and Brea Olinda 25-12, 20-25, 15-12 before knocking off Pasadena Poly High 26-24 in the playoffs before getting knocked out by Oaks Christian High 25-8. Sophomore middle blocker Mariah Iosua and junior middle blocker Olanna Olumba had 17 and 13 kills respectively in the three pool play matches. The Lady Gladiators will visit Lynwood High on Tuesday before hosting Warren High on Thursday.

Valley Christian High defeated St. Anthony High 25-19, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21 last Thursday, then went 2-1 in pool play action last Saturday, falling to Westridge High 25-16, 25-21 in a battle for first place. The Lady Crusaders then was on the short end of a 27-26 decision to Grace Brethren High in the playoffs. Senior outside hitter Madison Holmes had eight kills while junior outside hitter Aubrey Schwieger added five kills in the match. V.C. began Olympic League action this past Tuesday with a 25-17, 26-24, 23-25, 25-13 loss to Village Christian. The Lady Crusaders (9-6, 0-1) will compete in the Kennedy Tournament on Saturday before travelling to Whittier Christian High on Tuesday.


Fountain Valley (3-1) @ Artesia (2-1)-The Pioneers offense, which had scored 40 points in each of their first two games, was held in check by Gahr last Friday, mustering just a second quarter, one-yard touchdown run from junior quarterback Heder Gladden. The Barons, ranked 10th in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division 6 poll, are coming off a 28-14 victory over Foothill High and have yielded 40 points this season while scoring 138. This will be Artesia’s last non-league game and the second of three straight home games.

Cerritos (1-3) @ Glenn (3-1)-This might be the new rivalry when both teams move into the 605 League next season. Cerritos, which defeated Beverly Hills High 20-16 last Friday, has won three Suburban League games since 2011, all against Glenn. Last season, the Eagles prevailed 39-7. The road team has been victorious the past two seasons. Glenn knocked off Hoover High 33-20 last Friday and is off to its best start since opening the 2009 season at 4-0.

St. Anthony (2-1) @ Gahr (3-1)-This is a rematch of last season’s Division 10 first round playoffs in which the Saints prevailed 24-21 on a late field goal. St. Anthony would go on to win the division. This season, St. Anthony, which was blasted by St. Paul High 34-6 last Friday, has scored 42 points and is ranked fifth in Division 9 while Gahr is ranked seventh in Division 10. This will be Gahr’s last game before going on its bye.

Norwalk (3-1) @ Bellflower (2-2)-Suburban League action begins for a pair of teams coming off losses. The Lancers lost to Dominguez High 32-13 last Friday as junior quarterback Brionne Penny accounted for two rushing touchdowns. The Buccaneers were defeated by South El Monte High 35-8 last Friday and have been alternating wins and losses. Norwalk has won four straight against Bellflower since back to back one-point overtime losses.

Ontario Christian (4-0) @ Valley Christian (2-2)-While they are not in the same league, these two teams still consider themselves longtime rivals. V.C. went on an offensive blitz against Rancho Christian High last Friday, racking up 62 points and has now scored 147 points this season. The Crusaders are ranked fourth in Division 8 while the Knights are sixth in Division 11. O.C.’s defense has yielded 44 points, so something will have to give. V.C. overwhelmed the Knights 58-7 last season but has lost the last two home games in this series.