Haley DeSales, La Salle hold off Tologs
Volleyball: Flintridge Sacred Heart swept by rival Lancers, 25-19, 25-21, 25-21.
La Salle libero Caroline Knop bumps the ball into play against Flintridge Sacred Heart in a nonleague girls volleyball game at FSHA in La Canada Flintridge on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. La Salle swept the match 3-0. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer) (September 25, 2012)
When games are close, DeSales seems to give the Lancers a much-needed spark in the form of picking up clutch kills and blocks.
DeSales provided another example Tuesday night, as she recorded 14 kills, four blocks and three aces to lead visiting La Salle to a 25-19, 25-21, 25-21 nonleague victory against rival Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.
“I don't get too hyped up because I have faith that our team can pull out victories,” said DeSales, a reigning All-Area first-team pick who helped the Lancers advance to the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA championship match last season. “We had some close games [Tuesday] and you want to be in that situation where you can find any way to help your team win.
“Losing in the finals and state last year makes us want to do even better this year. A win like this can only help our confidence.”
The Lancers (19-2) have been red-hot throughout the first month of the season. They had their 12-match winning streak ended by St. Lucy's in a nonleague contest Sept. 19, but bounced back nicely against the Tologs.
On Tuesday, La Salle used its experience to fend off the Tologs (3-5). In each game, La Salle, ranked No. 5 in the latest Division I-A poll, needed a late surge to pull away from Flintridge Sacred Heart in front of a packed gymnasium that featured a bipartisan crowd.
“They have a good team and it's a great rivalry,” said La Salle Coach Tiare Tuitama, the reigning All-Area Girls' Volleyball Coach of the Year. “We had the momentum early in the games, and then they would come back.
“Haley was one of our go-to players last year. Now, she's 10 times stronger. She's come up huge for us, from blocks to big kills.”
In the third game, Flintridge Sacred Heart used a 7-1 run to take a 20-19 lead. However, La Salle closed out on a 6-1 run, which included two straight aces by DeSales to make it 23-20. DeSales had five kills and a pair of aces in the clinching game.
La Salle raced to a 10-2 advantage in the second game. Flintridge Sacred Heart tied it on an ace by Sophia Coffey. An ace by Emily DeVelle gave the Tologs a 21-20 lead before the Lancers finished up on a 5-0 run to take a 2-0 lead.
DeSales recorded a kill to give La Salle a 17-12 lead in the first game. Flintridge Sacred Heart could get no closer than 22-18 on a block by Maddie Peterson.
Alyssa Tavera collected 25 assists for the Lancers, who also received 14 digs from Cariline Knop. Jessica Kennedy added eight kills for La Salle.
Flintridge Sacred Heart first-year Coach Ernest Banaag said the Tologs have continued to make strides.
“We've come a long way in the last couple of weeks,” said Banaag, who got seven kills apiece from Coffey and Katie Conley. “We are trying to build.
“I can see our program beginning to rise. It's a matter of can you compete with the good teams? La Salle is a great team. We showed we could play with them.”
Colleen Degnan and Peterson finished with 12 and 10 digs, respectively, for Flintridge Sacred Heart.