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Sage Hill stymies Calvary Chapel

Boys' Water Polo

The Lightning have a tough road ahead with the Dave Mohs Tournament and a match against top-ranked St. Margaret's.

September 20, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

NEWPORT COAST — The next time the Sage Hill School girls' volleyball team plays at home, the match will be a lot tougher than the one on Tuesday.

Coach Dan Thomassen said the Lightning have 10 days to smooth out the kinks before they return home. His team made quick work of Calvary Chapel, sweeping the nonleague match, 25-22, 25-15, 25-13.

Next for Sage Hill (3-3) is the Dave Mohs Tournament in Huntington Beach. The Lightning have matches on Friday and Saturday, the finale is Monday.

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Thomassen feels Sage Hill can make a run at the Division II title. The way the Lightning are treating the tournament is simple.

"Just to get better," Sage Hill senior Zoe Kreitenberg said. "It's our last competition before we compete against St. Margaret's."

Four days after the tournament ends, Sage Hill plays host to St. Margaret's on Sept. 30. The match pits two rivals, two teams ranked in the top three in the CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA poll.

The third-ranked Lightning face the top-ranked Tartans in an Academy League opener. This has never happened before, Thomassen said, both teams opening league against each other.

"The fact that it's home and the fact that it's our first match of league means you start 1-0 or you start 0-1," said Thomassen, who's in his eighth year in charge of the girls. "Even though we think we're one of the stronger teams in league, we don't want to start 0-1."

Getting off to the right start is the key against St. Margaret's, the defending section champion.

The Lightning have done a good job in the beginning of their first five matches. The sixth one was an exception.

"We came out a little flat," Thomassen said.

Sage Hill allowed Calvary Chapel to charge back twice from eight-point deficits in the opening set. The Eagles got within two late before an unforced error ended any comeback.

In the second and third sets, the Lightning took control, jumping out to 7-0 and 5-0 leads, respectively. They never looked back, using depth to become the second Academy League team to sweep Calvary Chapel this season.

The other league team was St. Margaret's. The Tartans opened the season with a 25-17, 25-20, 25-10 home win against the Eagles on Sept. 6.

Compare the scores against Calvary Chapel and St. Margaret's and Sage Hill appear to be even. The two teams have only been even twice, sharing the league title in 2005 and 2008.

The difference between the Lightning and the Tartans might be the strength in numbers.

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