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Imperial gets win over Marian

November 07, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT Sports Editor

IMPERIAL — For Imperial High School's Victoria Mazon, one point was good enough to help to the Tigers to a 3-1 win in the first round of Tuesday's San Diego Section Division IV playoffs.

Mazon, who had a game-high 11 kills, scored her only point of the match with Marian Catholic on the final serve of the night.

Her serve was nothing out of the ordinary, a well-hit ball that Marian returned. The Tigers received the Marian return and Melanie Medina fed Jenny Bowlan for a match-ending kill. Imperial earned a 15-0, 6-15, 15-13, 15-5 win to advance to the second round.

"I give the girls so much credit," said Imperial coach Rich Ponchione. "With the exception of the second game, they played their best volleyball of the year. They were very scrappy and really came together."


From the beginning of the contest it seemed like Imperial would be advancing to the second round.

On the strength of 11 consecutive service points from Andrea Aguirre, Imperial put away the first game quickly.

The second game was a different story as Marian jumped to a 14-1 advantage before finally claiming the 15-6 win.

"I think Marian came in cold," said Ponchione of his team's hot start and subsequent cooling off in the second game. "It's tough to travel into a hostile environment. But I thought we played flawlessly in the first game."

While it was a near perfect Tiger team in the first game and a shaky one in the second, it was a scrappy squad that closed out the final two games.

Facing an 11-4 deficit in the third game, Lindsay Lugo, who finished the night with 13 points (three aces) led Imperial back with five points to pull the score to 11-9. Marian tied the score at 12-12, before a Bowlan kill returned the ball to Imperial. Melanie Medina served for the final three points in the game for the Tigers, who took a 2-1 lead in the match.

Imperial jumped to an 8-4 lead in the fourth game and with five points from Aguirre, who finished with 17 points (seven aces), scored five points to push the lead to 13-4.

Benefiting from a Mazon kill, Medina put Imperial up 14-4, before Marian's Cameron Musgrave scored the Crusaders' final three points of the season. Mazon hammered home a kill to stop the Marian run and give herself the opportunity to end the match.

Bowlan finished with nine kills for Imperial while Lugo led both squads with 13 assists.

Next up for the Tigers (20-6) will be a trip to La Jolla where Imperial will meet Division IV's No. 2 team, Bishop's (24-5), at 7 p.m. Thursday.

"It will be a good experience," said Ponchione. "If we can go in and play them tough then I'll be happy."

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