Canada High girls' varsity team and spent countless months playing for
the same club teams, went head-to-head for the first time as Division II
Sabo, a 5-foot-10 middle blocker/opposite hitter at Cal Poly Pomona,
hosted Gaudino, a 5-9 outside hitter for UC Davis, in a California
Collegiate Athletic Association conference match at Darlene May
And although Sabo's Broncos swept Gaudino's Aggies, 15-4, 15-7, 15-5,
on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona, the contest served as a defining moment
in both of their young careers.
"We both decided late that we were going to play and I had never
actually played against her," Gaudino said. "I respect her a lot and I
know this is a big step for her. It was cool because I got to watch her
from a different viewpoint."
For both individuals, Saturday night wasn't about winning and losing.
Yes, Sabo's team (10-2, 5-1 in conference) won to maintain its
second-place tie with four other teams in the CCAA, and yes, Gaudino
matched her season-high with eight kills, but the significance of the
contest was much more than mere stats and records.
Saturday's match served as an affirmation. Not only for all the years
of hard work put in at La Canada by both individuals, but as a means to
justify that they do in fact belong playing at the next level.
To put things in perspective, Gaudino and Sabo are two of only four
area players from the Class of 2000 -- along with Brynne Young
(Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, University of San Diego) and Mele Misi
(Crescenta Valley, Fordham University) -- to compete in collegiate
volleyball this season.
"So far, the experience has been really great," Gaudino said. "I set a
different goal for myself each week. First, it was to just be among the
top nine players. Then it was to become a starter. Now I want to work
even harder to keep my spot."
Gaudino played every point of the match for UC Davis (7-9, 1-5
conference), tallying seven digs, a block and three aces, but her team
was outhit and outserved by Sabo and her teammates.
Sabo, who played four service rotations in the second and third games
behind 6-2 senior Karla Tate and 6-0 freshman Kimberly Van Beek, recorded