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Flintridge Sacred Heart volleyball off to semifinals

Volleyball: Tologs rally for dramatic five-game win over El Dorado in quarterfinals.

November 16, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

LA CAÑADA —The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy volleyball team did everything it could to extend its postseason push.

It certainly wasn't easy when the host Tologs met El Dorado in a CIF Southern section Division I-A quarterfinal match Saturday night, but behind 60 assists from Sophia Coffey, the Tologs rallied to post a 24-26, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 20-18 victory.

Fourth-seeded Flintridge Sacred Heart (26-4) will meet top-seeded La Salle, the defending champion, in a semifinal home match at 7 p.m. Tuesday. It marks the first time since 2007 that the Tologs will appear in the semifinals.

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El Dorado (16-11) fought off six match points in the fifth game before the Tologs, who split the Mission League championship, got the last two points and many from the packed gymnasium stormed the court to celebrate with the exhausted Tologs..

“An absolutely amazing match,” Flintridge Sacred Heart second-year Coach Ernest Banaag said. “We very much had to do it the hard way, but we found a way to get the job done.

“We competed and stayed composed, especially the last two games.”

Coffey, a junior setter, led the charge with some key digs and assists in the fifth game.

“We found a way to close it out, but it was very hard,” Coffey said. “In that fifth game, everything went back and forth and we had to find a way to seize the momentum.

“This was one of the most exciting games to be a part of and now we get to go to the semifinals. It's just very exciting to get this far.”

The Tologs, who opened with postseason wins against Ayala and Thousand Oaks, got 33 kills from Kayla Lund, 14 from Katie Conley and 11 from Maddie Peterson.

In the fifth game, the Tologs held a 14-12 lead before El Dorado, which finished runner-up in the finals last season, got the next two points to knot it at 14. Flintridge Sacred Heart then held four one-point leads, but the Golden Hawks bounced back each time.

“It was about playing situational volleyball and knowing where to be at the right time,” Banaag said. “They got to the right places during a lot of those rallies.”

A kill by Lund clinched the fourth game. Lund, a freshman outside hitter, had the last four kills in the fourth game.

El Dorado, which won the Century League championship, used a 5-1 run to finish the third game and appeared to have the momentum.

In the second game, the Tologs received a kill from Kayla Lund and a block from Clare Lund to knot the match at one game apiece.

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