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Spartans volleyball upsets No. 4 seed

Volleyball: Spartans girls' team takes down Oaks Christian in quarters.

November 10, 2012|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

LA CA¿ADA FLINTRIDGE — The seismic shift in the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA girls' volleyball playoffs was felt not once but twice Saturday night with the elimination of the Nos. 1 and 4 seeds.

Finding itself in the middle of the sudden landscape change was La Cañada High, which spent the first part of the season recovering from nagging injuries before regrouping down the homestretch.

With Micaela Anderson and Lauren Streeter leading the charge on offense and defense, respectively, La Cañada pulled off one of the gigantic upsets Saturday.

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Anderson finished with a match-high 25 kills and Streeter added five blocks and 13 digs to lead host La Cañada to a 21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 28-26 quarterfinal victory against fourth-seeded Oaks Christian.

La Canada (19-11) will face host Martin Luther King in a semifinal match at 7 p.m. Tuesday. King recorded a 25-14, 25-22, 30-28 win against top-seeded North Torrance, setting the stage for an unlikely showdown with an appearance in the title game at stake.

“It's amazing to see what's happened,” said Anderson, a senior outside hitter who did an effective job of picking up timely kills against Oaks Christian (27-6). “Not being seeded, I think, has helped us through the playoffs because people don't expect us to win.

“When you are seeded, people come after you. I like the way we are playing and being able to keep going.”

The Spartans, who won the Rio Hondo League title, will make their first trip to the semifinals since 2009. La Cañada also avenged a quarterfinal loss to Oaks Christian at home in 2010.

Streeter, who made a pair of clutch blocks in the fourth game with the Spartans staring at game point, said the Spartans were able to remain calm throughout plenty of tense moments in the contest.

“You get in these type of close games, and you want to find a way to go out there and shut them down,” said Streeter, a senior middle blocker. “I know I have to try to get to every ball that I can.

“We wanted to get that fourth game. It came down to our heart, passing and desire.”

Streeter showed she was ready to lead the Spartans' defense, especially in the fourth game.

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