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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Artesia girls volleyball tougher in the middle set, but swept by St. Joseph


August 31, 2022

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

 The Artesia girls volleyball team had won two of its first five matches ahead of hosting its own tournament last Saturday. This past Tuesday, the Pioneers welcomed St. Joseph High in the last scheduled non-league match of the season.

After being dominated in the opening set, Artesia made things interesting in the second set before succumbing to the Jesters 25-9, 25-22, 25-11.

“It’s a totally new team,” said Artesia head coach Tommy Dube. “We lost our senior setter, so that’s really impacted us, and we’ve been trying to find a replacement for that position. Also, bringing in several freshmen into the mix right now…that’s changed the energy and the chemistry amongst the team. We’re really focusing on the basics of just control passing and our serving game.”

Although the Pioneers didn’t lead in the second set, they never trailed by more than three points and were able to tie the Jesters seven times, the last at 22-22. In the third set, St. Joseph jumped to a 5-1 lead on the strength of two aces from Sasha Luzina and one from Emma Faalogo, then 9-2 after Maya Gonsalves served three straight aces.

Again, the hosts tried to stay within reach and when sophomore Rylee Asumbrado had an ace, it was 9-5. A serve into the net gave the Pioneers the serve and ended the first rotation with the score 13-8. But kills from senior Andrea Arzate, junior Shynia West and a net violation would be the only points Artesia scored the remainder of the match.

“We were serving a little more consistently; a little tougher,” said Dube of the second set. “They also subbed out their power hitter. I know that we had the advantage there without that big kill in there.”

Unless Artesia adds a match, it will be off until opening 605 League play against Cerritos High on Sept. 9. In other girls volleyball action, Cerritos went the distance against Warren High last Thursday, posting a 14-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-20, 16-14 win. The Dons (5-2) visited Sunny Hills High on Sept. 1 and will host Millikan High on Tuesday.

Gahr High also went the distance in its last match as it beat Bellflower High 26-28, 25-19, 25-19, 19-25, 15-12 this past Tuesday. The Gladiators (2-3) went to Norwalk High on Sept. 1 and will travel to La Serna High, Pacifica High and Kennedy High Tuesday through Thursday.

John Glenn High also knocked off Bellflower in five, 25-13, 23-25, 17-25, 26-24, 15-8 last Friday and will be on the road against South El Monte High today, Lynwood High on Tuesday and Norwalk on Thursday.

Staying with the theme of five-set matches, La Mirada High defeated Paramount High 25-17, 20-25, 16-25, 25-19, 15-6 this past Tuesday to improve to 3-2. The Matadores will next be in action on Thursday when they host California High.

Norwalk swept Bell Gardens High 25-16, 28-26, 25-8 this past Wednesday to move to 2-3 ahead of its contests against Gahr and Glenn while Valley Christian High dropped a 23-25, 19-25, 25-19, 21-25 decision to Wiseburn-DaVinci this past Tuesday. The Defenders (7-4) are the only area team to have played a league match as they defeated Heritage Christian High 16-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-19 this past Monday in the Olympic League opener. V.C. was home to Warren on Sept. 1 and will visit St. Joseph and St. Anthony on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.


Artesia (0-1) @ Santa Paula High (2-0)-The Pioneers were blasted by Garden Grove High 61-6 last Friday night as the Argonauts gained close to 300 yards on the ground. Artesia will try to rebound on the road against a tough Santa Paula squad that has averaged 30 points a game in its two wins. Cardinals quarterback Marcus Castaneda has completed 31 of 56 passes for 446 yards and has thrown the same number of touchdowns and interceptions-four. Of running back Bryce Zavala’s nine carries, four have found the endzone. Last season, Artesia fell to the Cardinals 40-7.

Prediction: Santa Paula 45, Artesia 10.

Cerritos (0-2) @ Portola (0-2)-See Cerritos game story against Woodbridge High. The Dons lost to the Bulldogs 46-24 in 2019 and 35-0 last season.

Prediction: Cerritos 28, Portola 24.

Heritage Christian High (2-0) @ Gahr (0-1)-See Gahr game story against Valley Christian.

Prediction: Heritage Christian 41, Gahr 7.

John Glenn High (1-1) @ Long Beach Cabrillo High (2-0)-A week after falling to Rowland High 34-7, Glenn rebounded in fine fashion, routing Firebaugh High 49-8 last Friday night. But the Eagles will be tested against a tough Cabrillo team that has outscored a pair of CIF-L.A. City Section teams 75-6. The Eagles will be going for three in a row against the Jaguars, having won last season’s contest 22-6.

Prediction: Glenn 31, Cabrillo 27.

Servite High (0-2) vs. La Mirada High @ Excelsior Stadium (1-1)-This will be La Mirada’s first game wearing its home blues and yet another test as the first of consecutive games against Trinity League opponents awaits the Matadores. La Mirada fell to Yorba Linda High 28-13 last Friday night as senior quarterback Nehuel Garcia completed 24 of 31 passes for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns, one to senior Xavier Hicks (seven receptions for 74 yards) and the other to senior Brody Roberts for 13 yards.

This is the third time the teams have met since at least 2002 with the Friars winning 38-14 in 2013 and 56-14 in 2014.

Prediction: La Mirada 35, Servite 30.

Norwalk High (2-0) @ El Monte High (0-2)-The Lancers won another high-scoring affair, defeating La Canada High 49-28 last Thursday night as they have now scored 104 points. Senior running back Michael Mueller, who scored five times, leads Norwalk with 388 yards on 33 carries while senior David Herrera is right behind him with 317 yards on 30 touches.

The Lions have been outscored 55-19 in their two games and have gained 647 offensive yards. Former Norwalk head coach Jessie Ceniceros had been at El Monte the past five seasons, compiling a 42-18 record and winning the CIF-Southern Section Division 12 and CIF Division 5AA state championship in 2019, capping off a remarkable 16-0 season.

Prediction: Norwalk 42, El Monte 14.

Aliso Niguel High (1-1) @ Valley Christian (1-1)-See V.C.’s game story against Gahr.

Prediction: V.C. 31, Alison Niguel 28.

Last week’s predictions: 5-0

Season to date: 8-2