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Harvard-Westlake stuns Temecula Valley in Division 1 girls volleyball match

By in Press Enterprise on November 3, 2017

By Eric-Paul Johnson

TEMECULA — Byes are given out to the top seeds as rewards in the CIF-Southern Section Section playoffs.

For the second consecutive season, however, a first-round bye might have been a curse for the Temecula Valley girls volleyball team.

Studio City Harvard-Westlake’s fierce blocking slowed down Temecula Valley’s potent offense, and the Wolverines knocked off the No. 3 seed 25-21, 18-25, 25-16, 25-22, Thursday evening in a Division 1 second-round playoff match.

Last year, Temecula Valley was the No. 4 seed in Division 2 and was given a first-round bye. Louisville beat the Bears in the second round.

“Playing in the first round might’ve helped with a competitive spirit,” Temecula Valley coach Rafu Rodriguez said. “That’s not why we lost. We lost this because we didn’t play our best.”

Madison Endsley and Peyton McBride finished with 22 and 16 kills, respectively for the Bears, but the duo also had 18 attacking errors, more than half due to a block by Harvard-Westlake.

“We studied a lot of film on them to see what tendencies they had in different situations,” Harvard-Westlake coach Hayley Blanchard said. “We did a great job getting our hands up on their big hitters and frustrating them a bit.”

Temecula Valley hurt itself in the opening set with five service errors, two coming after the Bears trimmed the deficit to a single point.

Harvard-Westlake setter Lindsey Kelley moved the offense at a quick pace, making certain to establish middle blocker Caroline Tilton early. The Wolverines (20-7) had four players record multiple kills during the opening set.

Temecula Valley trailed 16-11 in the second set, but the Bears went on a 14-2 closing run to even the match. Endsley had three kills in that run, and Jordyn Amoy added a pair of aces.

Harvard-Westlake lead 14-13 in the third set, but the Wolverines broke things open with an 11-3 […]    

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