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St. Francis volleyball loses to Crespi in five

Volleyball: Controversial calls, inability to close hamper Golden Knights in league loss.

March 07, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

LA CANADA — There were numerous occasions when the St. Francis High volleyball team was asked to rally from extreme and unusual setbacks Thursday night when it hosted Crespi in a Mission League match.

It appeared the Golden Knights were up to the task after they appeared to take a one-game lead after three frames and held match-point three times, but two key no-calls from the officials proved devastating in a five-game loss to the Celts, 20-25, 25-22, 28-26, 21-25, 19-17.

Charles McCarthy seemed he was going to bring St. Francis (3-3, 0-2 in league) over any obstacle, as he finished with a match-high 33 kills and nine digs. It ended up being just too much, as Crespi (1-2 overall and in league) had plenty of firepower of its own from Ashton King (31 kills).

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After dropping a tightly contested second game, the Golden Knights used a 3-0 run to take a 24-22 lead in the third game.

Crespi Coach Raissa Adolphe called a timeout, not realizing she'd already used both allotted to her in the game. Officials awarded St. Francis the point and game, but after a short debate from Adolphe – who protested the scorers table never notified her how many timeouts she'd used – the head referee ruled the point would be played over.

“She called two timeouts and then she called a third one,” St. Francis Coach Mark Frazee said. “We had game-point, that gives us the game. I'm a little surprised the ref said, 'Well, we're here to play so let's play;' that's like me making an illegal sub and going, 'Ah, that's OK.'“

The Celts went on a 3-0 run from there to take game-point before St. Francis notched consecutive points on a kill and block from Chris Thompson (14 kills, six blocks). Crespi had the last laugh, though, as two Knights service-receive errors led to the Celts taking the frame, 28-26, and a 2-1 advantage in games.

“I didn't want to make a big stink about it, but I certainly don't like it,” Frazee said of the replay call. “We're stuck with it.”

St. Francis bounced back in the next game and jumped out to a 23-13 lead. It took game point, 24-17, but as had been a theme all night, the Celts had a late charge in store and pulled within three, 24-21, before Thompson ended the game with another kill.

The fifth game featured 13 ties and four lead changes. McCarthy notched three straight St. Francis points to give his team a 13-12 lead and an ensuing Crespi net violation gave the home team match-point.

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