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Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls' volleyball leads way into playoffs

Volleyball: Tologs are seeded fourth in Division I-A and are joined in postseason action with La CaƱada and Crescenta Valley.

November 09, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy received the highest local seed as the Tologs are fourth. Flintridge Sacred Heart begins the playoffs Tuesday at 7 p.m. (File Photo)
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy received the highest…

The chase for a CIF Southern Section girls’ volleyball championship has begun, as the postseason pairings were released Saturday morning, with wild-card playoff action beginning Saturday night.

Mission League co-champion Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy received the highest local bid, as the Tologs (23-4) were given the fourth seed in Division I-AA.

Yet, the seed wasn’t exactly a welcomed sight.

“Nothing against the teams in the lower bracket, but we’re in the upper bracket and that just seems like a much tougher bracket,” said Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Ernest Banaag, whose team won its first league title since 2006. “It’s disappointing that you work so hard all year and then you’re not really rewarded. But like I told the girls, there isn’t much of a point to complain about that now.”

Fellow league co-champion Harvard-Westlake (20-10) was given the third seed over the Tologs by virtue of their head-to-head matchups, which were split, as the Wolverines needed one less game to win their match.

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Flintridge Sacred Heart opens the postseason Tuesday at 7 p.m. at home versus Sierra League third-place entrant Ayala (12-13).

While the Bulldogs don’t boast the strongest record, they hail from one the division’s tougher leagues, headlined by No. 6 Chino Hills (11-5) and No. 7 St. Lucy’s (19-8).

A Tologs' victory would send the team into Thursday’s second round versus either formidable Thousand Oaks (15-9), the Marmonte League runner-up, or versus Orange Coast League second-place squad Santa Ana Calvary Chapel (20-7).

Should the seedings hold up as expected, Flintridge Sacred Heart will then face last year’s two divisional finalists in Century League champion El Dorado (14-8), fifth-ranked, in Saturday’s quarterfinal with a potential chance at revenge versus top-seeded defending divisional champion La Salle (26-5) on Nov. 19 in the divisional semifinals.

The Lancers defeated the Tologs in a thrilling back-and-forth affair, 25-17, 24-26, 25-21, 25-19 in Pasadena on Oct. 1.

“The good thing about my girls is that they’ve come together and are playing their best. Whatever juice we’ve been giving them has worked,” Banaag said. “We’re definitely going to need to be at our best to get through these playoffs.”

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