Northwood, which claimed a 25-18, 27-25, 25-20 victory to assume
control of the league race.
The win gave the Timberwolves (13-4, 5-0 in league), ranked No. 1
in CIF Division III-AA, a leg up on the Sea Kings (13-7, 3-1). It was
also Northwood's first decision over CdM, a team that had defeated
the Timberwolves in a best-of-three match in the Orange County
Championships earlier this season.
"I was surprised it was a sweep," Northwood Coach John Gaido said.
"With [the Sea Kings] and their tradition, I knew we had to do
something right to beat them."
Northwood did little wrong, capitalizing on its size up front and
limiting mistakes, according to Gaido.
"We were effective with our serves and, I thought [the Sea Kings]
had a difficult time stopping our middle blockers," he said.
The 5-foot-11 Alex Fell and 5-10 Lindsay Macias were strong in the
middle for the Timberwolves, who also benefited from the net presence
of 6-1 Laura Black.
Gaido theorized that the Monday road trip, which included a bus
ride during the sizzling afternoon heat, may have made CdM, ranked
No. 2 in CIF Division III-A, more susceptible to being knocked off.
CdM Coach Bill Christiansen, however, refused to accept any
"We just played poorly," Christiansen said of his team's first
league loss since the eighth match of the 2001 PCL campaign.
Christiansen said serving woes, as well as slow starts in each
game, helped the Timberwolves gain confidence and momentum
"We usually don't start slowly and we usually don't miss as many
serves as we did today," Christiansen said. "We spotted them leads in
every game. And when we started to come back, it seemed like we
missed a serve and it killed our momentum."
CdM rallied from deficits of 5-1 and 18-12 to take a 24-22 lead in
the second game. But a service error and a net violation helped the
Timberwolves pull even in the rally-scoring format and they never
trailed the rest of the match.
Northwood scored the first six points of the deciding game and
led, 7-1, before CdM whittled away, eventually pulling to within
10-9. The visitors stayed close at 16-15 and 19-17, but the
Timberwolves pulled away to close out the sweep.
Junior outside hitter Jordan Smith had seven kills and 13 digs,
while CdM teammates Lindsay Ensign (seven kills) and Lauren Snell
(seven kills) were also key.