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Mistakes plague St. Francis High volleyball in league loss against Notre Dame

Volleyball: Golden Knights return home, but fall via sweep against Knights.

March 25, 2014|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Glendale News-Press

LA CAÑADA — After opening its campaign at home earlier this month, the St. Francis High volleyball team went on the road for the next four matches, including its first three in the Mission League. The Golden Knights finally found their way home Tuesday evening to host league opponent Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

As it turned out, the homecourt advantage was not enough to overcome the crisp play of Notre Dame and the Golden Knights, plagued by mistakes throughout, were swept, 25-15, 25-16, 25-21, in their Mission League home opener.

“We know from what has happened in league so far that Notre Dame is pretty much in line to be second place. That is how the league has gone this far,” St. Francis Coach Mark Frazee said.

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St. Francis (2-4, 1-3) played its best in game three, which saw a significant improvement in the Golden Knights’ attack, led by Markar Agakanian, who had six kills in the final game.

“We started running our plays, which we had gotten away from a little bit,” Frazee said of his squad’s uptick in play in the third game. “We started passing the ball better, so we were able to run our options with a couple combinations and it really made a difference.”

The home team stayed right with Notre Dame (10-8, 4-1), tying game three at 12 and then 13, but each time Knight Daniel Vaziri, whose heavy hitting tormented St. Francis throughout, came through with a resounding kill to push back into the lead. The game and match ended on an outside kill by Notre Dame’s Noah Delana after a Knight net violation had pulled the Golden Knights to within three.

It was Agakanian, a junior, who led St. Francis in kills, finishing with 12. The Golden Knights’ block leader, with four, was junior Thomas Lund, who also had four kills. Sophomore setter David Thompson recorded 26 assists.

Game one saw Notre Dame come out to a strong start and St. Francis struggle with its service game. By the time the Golden Knights called a timeout, trailing, 11-5, they had already committed three service errors and been victim of two Notre Dame aces.

“[Notre Dame’s] guys were strong and they got their hits,” Frazee said of the opening game. “We had five service errors, and that is going to hurt, and we had a lot of hitting errors. Throughout the match we had hitting errors that we didn’t need.”

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