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Volleyball: Tigers take close one from Bulldogs

September 26, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

IMPERIAL — In what was the volleyball equivalent of a roller-coaster ride, Imperial High School beat Calexico in five games in Imperial Valley League action here Tuesday.

"We're like a roller coaster," said Tiger coach Rich Ponchione. "We're so young that our games are going to be roller coasters."

Bulldog coach Cami Mohammed said, "We've been playing really inconsistently all season. Practically all our games have gone to five."

The Tigers won the match 13-15, 15-2, 15-8, 14-16, 17-15 to improve to 5-1, 2-1 in the IVL. Calexico falls to 3-2, (2-1 IVL) .

From the early moments of the first game it was obvious both teams were in for a bumpy ride.

On the strength of four service points from Lindsay Lugo, Imperial jumped to a 9-2 advantage that the Bulldogs quickly erased.

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Giovanna Martel led Calexico's comeback, tallying six straight points to pull the Bulldogs to within one at 9-8.

Imperial answered with four points to build a 13-10 lead before the Bulldogs took over.

Martel scored four more of her team-high 11 points before Alexa Sandoval put the game away with one final score.

The second game was the exception to the rule as Andrea Aguirre served for seven of her 17 points to lead the Tigers to a quick win to tie the match at one game each.

Game three saw the Bulldogs jump to a 5-2 advantage before the Tigers took over. With the game knotted at 8-8, Aguirre took the serve for Imperial and with the help of a Jenny Bowlan kill, an ace and five Calexico errors, scored seven consecutive points to end the game.

The Tigers seemed primed to put away the match as Lugo scored eight straight points to open the fourth game.

Imperial's 8-0 lead was short-lived as Sandoval led Calexico back with seven points of her own.

The Tigers regained serve and pushed their advantage to 13-9 before the Bulldogs answered.

Calexico knotted the game at 14-14 and points by Arlene Morales, who led the Bulldogs with 11 assists and 10 kills, and Sandoval gave Calexico the win in the game.

Lugo, who finished with a game-high 25 points, led Imperial quickly out of the gates in the fifth game as well. She spotted her team a 5-0 lead before the Bulldogs could take serve

Calexico managed to tie the game at 6-6 before Imperial built a 11-8 advantage. The Bulldogs again fought back, taking leads of 13-12 and 15-14 but the day ultimately belonged to the Tigers.

With the Bulldogs serving for the game, Medina slammed home one of her team-high six kills to return serve to Imperial. Holtz scored a point to tie the game at 15-15 but a Morales' kill brought the ball back to Calexico.

The Bulldogs could not capitalize as Victoria Mazon's stuff block brought the ball back to Imperial and this time the Tigers took advantage of the serve. With the help of two Calexico errors, Lugo scored the final two points of the night to give Imperial the win.

Lugo led Imperial with seven assists. Mayra Gonzalez had eight assists and eight kills for the Bulldogs.

"You're gonna see night and day with this team," said Ponchione. "They never give up. They give it their all on the court."

Both teams return to action Thursday. Imperial will host Central at 6 p.m. while the Bulldogs will be visited by Holtville at 5 p.m.

Both coaches think their teams can take positives from Tuesday's game as the season progresses.

"We need to be more consistent," said Ponchione. "We have to get to a consistent level of play. We can get a lot better and that may just come with time."

Said Mohammed, "This is a young team. They just need to string the good things together instead of showing them in spurts."

Holtville 3, Southwest 1

HOLTVILLE — The Holtville High School volleyball team knocked off Southwest 15-7, 13-15, 15-6, 15-9 in IVL action here Tuesday.

Regan Rothfleisch led the Vikings (2-1, 2-1 IVL) with 12 kills and five blocks. Carly Johnson had nine kills and five blocks while Shelli Strahm tallied 18 points (six aces).

Jessica Conway had 10 kills for the Eagles (1-4, 1-2 IVL). Denise Martinez added six blocks.

The Eagles return to action at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home against Palo Verde.

Central 3, Palo Verde 2

BLYTHE — The Central Union High School volleyball team rallied for a 14-16, 9-15, 15-7, 15-13, 15-1 win over Palo Verde in IVL action here Tuesday.

Angelica Asaeli led the Spartans (1-4, 1-1 IVL) with 19 points, 14 coming in the final game. Janiece Manuel added eight blocks for Central.

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