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Haley DeSales delivers for CIF champions

La Salle girls' volleyball sophomore was pivotal in Lancers winning CIF title

December 26, 2012|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • La Salle sophomore Haley DeSales finished with 389 kills, 220 digs, 55 aces and 38 blocks, leading the Lancers (34-3) to the Del Rey League crown.
La Salle sophomore Haley DeSales finished with 389 kills,… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

In helping the La Salle High girls' volleyball team win its first CIF Southern Section championship, Haley DeSales brought a series of intangibles.

Her powerful offensive wizardry, shrewd defensive presence and calm leadership skills on the court paved the way for DeSales to become a complete player.

DeSales won't take the lion's share of credit in the aftermath of what the Lancers accomplished, though, knowing she had her teammates at her side to help her take on all challenges.

“I think we all became better players this year and we were hungry to try to win CIF,” said DeSales, a sophomore outside hitter who played one of the biggest roles in leading the Lancers to the Division I-A title. “We went out there and did so by trusting each other and that helped us become better players.

“For me, it was just about going all out on the court. I took every point like it won't be played again.”

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DeSales more than made her point on the court. As the Lancers' go-to player, DeSales finished with 389 kills, 220 digs, 55 aces and 38 blocks. She also led La Salle (34-3) to the Del Rey League crown, in addition to earning a spot on the all-league first team before being named the division's player of the year.

It’s because of those accomplishments that DeSales has been unanimously chosen the 2012 All-Area Girls' Volleyball Player of the Year by the sports writers and editors of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, La Cañada Valley Sun and Pasadena Sun.

La Salle Coach Tiare Tuitama figured some of the Lancers' offensive schemes would center around DeSales receiving the ball before pounding it down on the other side of the net for kills.

“She definitely handled the pressures very well,” said Tuitama, who was named the division's coach of the year. “In playing the outside, she was one of our most consistent hitters, servers and defenders.

“During the playoffs, she was our closer. You want to have that go-to person who can finish things off. In a tight match, she expected the ball and she executed.”

The Lancers competed in Division II-AA last season, reaching the championship match before being bumped up. La Salle played a difficult schedule to help them prepare for the rigorous stretch of playoff matches that culminated in second-seeded La Salle posting a 25-16, 25-20, 29-27 victory against El Dorado at Santiago Canyon College in Orange County.

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