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605 LEAGUE GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: John Glenn holds off pesky Artesia squad to keep playoff chances alive


Heading down the stretch of the 2019 regular season, the John Glenn High girls volleyball team had little wiggle room as far as staying in the upper half of the 605 League. Every set, every match became important and facing the sting of three straight league losses, the Lady Eagles needed to win out to keep their CIF-Southern Section playoff hopes going. 

Glenn took care of business last Friday afternoon, sweeping host Artesia High 25-21, 25-21, 25-19. Coupled with a sweep against last place Pioneer High this past Tuesday, Glenn ended the regular season at 11-11 overall and 5-5 in the circuit. The sweep over Artesia was quite different from the first meeting with the Lady Pioneers back on Sept. 24 in which Glenn lost the first set, then escaped with a 26-24 win in the second set before easily winning the next two. 

“I would say the girls are trying to build more confidence, especially after that tough loss to Oxford [Academy],” said Glenn first-year head coach Daniel Reyes. “We had a couple of roadblocks, going against Cerritos and Whitney, who are at the top of the league right now. I think the Norwalk game really helped us kind of find our groove and I think that win kind of gave them a little more confidence moving forward and I think it carried over into today’s game.” 

Reyes was talking about a five-set win over Norwalk High on Oct. 9 in which they won the fourth set 25-20 and the fifth set 16-14.  

Glenn bolted out to a 10-2 lead in the first set thanks to four aces from senior outside hitter Daisy Moncada. Consecutive aces from freshman outside hitter Kaylani Moncada would make it a 14-7 affair before the hosts chipped away.  

A double hit violation gave the serve to Artesia senior opposite hitter Eden Fleming, who reeled off three straight points. Moments later, Glenn would be two points away from the win when junior outside hitter Danae Green had three straight kills. Her seventh kill of the set made it 24-21 but a service error would end the rally.  

“At times, we have moments where we’re a pretty decent serving team,” Reyes said of the first set. “But at times, we can have issues. In the last couple of games, we’ve had a lot of mistakes as far as serving. We have girls who can actually serve the ball really well and when they’re on their game.” 

“We had a lot of miscommunication,” said Artesia first-year head coach Tommy Dube. “It was a very disappointing game for me. We were disorganized, we were out of rotation three times and lost some points.” 

Serving would set the tone again early in the second set as Glenn recorded five aces as part of an 11-7 start. Through the first rotation, Glenn had a 14-10 advantage, but Artesia scored the next three points. From that point on, Artesia would trail by two points three times and by a point once but couldn’t regain what would have been its second lead of the set. 

The Lady Pioneers (7-19, 2-8) made things interesting in the third set, leading by five points twice in the third set. But a serve into the net allowed Glenn junior outside hitter Karina Flores to serve six straight points. Both teams would trade points until a kill from Kaylani Moncada and three straight aces from senior middle blocker Ashley Sanchez gave the Lady Eagles that late push they needed. 

“We try to make it a point of emphasis with our setters just to spread the ball around and give every girl an opportunity,” Reyes said. “We have enough talent when they’re playing well, they can give us some good points throughout the game. But I think one thing that where we’re easily led by is Kaylani. We have that option with when all else fails just push to the outside and let her do something with that ball. But today, obviously, we had a lot of girls who were contributing. That’s when, I think, we’re most dangerous.” 

Green tried to keep her team alive with a kill to make it 19-15, then two straight kills and an ace from freshman opposite hitter Simone Johnson to make it 22-19. But Glenn finished off the sweep with one more ace, this one from senior libero Carla Bautista, and a kill from Sanchez. 

“Our goal and our challenge all year has been finishing, and that showed up today,” Dube said. 

Kaylani Moncada led Glenn with nine kills followed by six each from Flores and senior setter Perla Santana and five from Daisy Moncada. Glenn had 33 kills and 23 aces. 

“I think the girls are just playing free,” Reyes said. “They’re playing for one another and I think they’re just having fun with the season. It’s not going what we wanted to completely, but at the same time, they’re having fun with everything that’s going on.” 

Artesia was led by Green’s 16 kills, plus five from Johnson and four more from junior middle blocker Ori Monis. 

“Overall, definitely one of the leaders on the team,” Dube said of Green. “[She’s] very consistent, [has a] positive attitude, brings her “A” game usually to the table and is an inspiration to the other girls on the team.” 

Artesia, which went 0-24 last season, had its best season since going 7-17 in 2015. 

“We’re still improving that one percent,” Dube said. “It just didn’t show up what we wanted to do tonight.”