Harbor High's Kelsey Shaver (15) blocks a kill attempt from St. Patrick/St. Vincent's Malia Bolko during the third game Saturday night at St. Patrick/St. Vincent High School in Vallejo. (Glenn Cravens/Register-Pajaronian)
VALLEJO – Harbor High’s girls volleyball team has done very well on the road all season, and it continued that success in a ferociously loud gymnasium on Saturday night.
The Pirates turned back St. Patrick/St. Vincent 25-23, 26-24, 25-21 in the semifinals of the CIF Northern California Division IV tournament.
With the win, Harbor will face Sacred Heart Prep on Tuesday in the Northern California championship match.
Harbor got to that point by figuring out how to stop the Bruins’ attack that was led by do-it-all hitter Paige Reed.
When Reed was on the front line, she was a one-person offensive juggernaut in the first two games, getting cross-court kills that brought roars from the St. Patrick/St. Vincent faithful.
But when she was on the back row, Harbor took advantage. Such was the case in the third game. Reed got a kill to cut the Bruins’ deficit to 7-5. She went to the back row to serve, and she was done after one serve, as Harbor’s Carly Craig got a tip past two Bruin blockers to give Harbor an 8-5 lead.
Craig’s tip was the first of six consecutive points that gave Harbor a 13-8 lead.
Harbor ballooned its advantage to 16-6, and it appeared that the match was going to be a wrap quickly. But Michaela Gardner got a block on a Molly Tobin kill attempt, and it brought the home team as well as the St. Patrick/St. Vincent faithful back to life.
The Bruins went on a 9-1 run to cut the spread to 17-15, turning to sophomore outside hitter Malia Bolko for the offense; she had two kills and a couple of tip attempts in the run. Even though they had all of the momentum, the Bruins couldn’t quite get over the hump.
Harbor had just too many weapons, and the defense did enough.
Craig had a surprise kill, giving Harbor a 19-16 lead. Molly Tobin followed up with a kill that seemed to go straight down to the floor. Kelsey Shaver had a couple of kill attempts, and St. Patrick/St. Vincent scrambled to stop all of Harbor’s attacks.
Tobin put away the match with a kill.
St. Patrick/St. Vincent was the North Coast Section Division IV champion, beating Santa Rosa’s Cardinal Newman to win the crown. It was so dominant in its own gym, losing just once and losing six games total all season prior to Saturday night.
The Bruins and their fans were ready to celebrate capturing the first game after they took a 23-21 lead. Harbor turned the tide when Tobin got a kill that started a four-point run to close out the game Harbor’s way.
Tobin served the final three points of the game, as her jump serve was difficult for St. Patrick/St. Vincent to corral. She ended the game with a service ace.
It was Harbor’s turn to squirm late in a game. In the second, an ace by Sydney Hogan put Harbor ahead 24-22. Gardner got a block on a Harbor kill attempt, giving the Bruins a chance to rally. Harbor then couldn’t get a tip attempt over the net, and the game was suddenly tied.
Shaver gave Harbor the lead back at 25-24 with a kill. Harbor tried to end the game with a kill but it was dug out. The Bruins set the ball to Reed, who smashed it as hard as she could. The ball just went too far, and Harbor celebrated a two-game lead.
For the complete article see the 11-27-2012 issue.
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