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Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls' volleyball takes down Harvard-Westlake

Volleyball: Losing streak that encompassed seven years, 15 matches ends after Tologs' 3-1 win versus Harvard-Westlake.

October 24, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

LA CAÑADA — Nearly 1,900 feet above sea level, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls’ volleyball program knows a little something about altitude.

And it was all about attitude that put the Tologs in rarefied air Thursday evening.

For the first time in seven years and 15 consecutive matches, Flintridge Sacred Heart defeated rival Harvard-Westlake, 25-23, 25-27, 25-21, 25-19 to split leadership atop the Mission League standings and at least put the Tologs on track for a share of the program’s first league crown since 2006.

With the victory, the CIF Southern Section Division I-A ninth-ranked Tologs (15-3, 6-1) are now tied with the fourth-ranked Wolverines (12-9, 6-1), as both teams have three remaining league contests.

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“This was so amazing. We’ve never beaten this team before, but we were ready to change that,” said Tologs senior opposite hitter Katie Conley, who finished with 13 kills and two blocks. “This is our house and we were sick of losing and we knew it was time to change that.”

Perhaps no player took a bigger role in the victory than did 5-foot-11 freshman outside hitter Kayla Lund, who was set 58 times and tallied a match-high 26 kills.

Whenever the Tologs where in need of a big kill, Lund was close by, including when the Wolverines rallied from a 10-4 deficit in the fourth game to pull within 11-7 after a kill from senior middle Airelle Strom (14 kills and four blocks).

Tologs junior captain Sofia Coffey, who finished with 56 assists, set Lund on back-to-back possessions and the freshman buried consecutive spikes to push the Tologs ahead, 13-7.

Flintridge Sacred Heart’s lead eventually ballooned to 16-7 after another kill from Lund.

Despite trailing by nine, Harvard-Westlake battled and closed to within 23-18 on a kill from senior outside hitter Jo Kremer (14 kills).

Yet, a Wolverines attacking error was followed two possessions later with the match-clincher, as Coffey fed Lund, who blistered a shot through the block attempt of Harvard-Westlake’s Mia Natsis (team-high 18 kills) to seal the win.

“Whatever it took. We were going to do whatever it took to win,” Lund said. “We wanted to win this so bad and we just worked hard to do it.”

Maybe the match’s turning point took place in the third game with the Wolverines holding on to a tight 20-19 advantage.

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