Village Christian volleyball keeps State title hopes alive, wins five-set thriller over Santa Fe Christian

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Village Christian let Santa Fe Christian off the hook in the first set of Thursday night’s showdown in Sun Valley.

With the score notched at 21-21, the Crusaders needed only four points to take the first set and control of the match. Instead Santa Fe Christian libero served four consecutive aces and left Village Christian stunned.

“We just kept telling ourselves that we had to embrace ugly,” senior opposite Mackenzie Jensen said. “We just had to get their as long as we got there. We did the grind, we went through it and we never gave up.”

As soon as the Crusaders became gritty, Jensen took control. Jensen hammered down shot after shot en route to 19 kills and five blocks as Village Christian outlasted Santa Fe Christian in a five-set thriller (21-25 25-23 25-14 23-25 15-7) in round two of the CIF Division II Southern California Regionals.

The win pushed Village Christian (37-9) into the CIF Regional semifinals to face Culver City at home this Saturday.

Jensen was supported by junior setter Kendall Jensen who had 46 assists six blocks and six kills including a dump kill in each set. Jensen’s versatile play kept Santa Fe Christian (27-12) off balance while feeding Jensen.

“I play for my team all the time and I just try to set them up for success,” Jensen said.

Village Christian had to learn earlier this season how to manage without top outside hitters junior Annamarie Alvarez and senior Lydia Roleder. Both players suffered torn ACL’s before the season began.

Having to fill that void were freshmen Payton Hudspeth, Emma Napoleon and Elizabeth Miller. Hudspeth, Napoleon and Miller were thrust into the roll and endured growing pains throughout the year. On Thursday night, all three were brilliant. Napoleon finished with 16 kills while Hudspeth added eight kills two blocks and three aces and Miller had five kills and seven blocks.

“They have all grown so much this year and I’m so grateful they all matured mentally and physically,” Kendall Jensen said. “They’ve all stepped up this season, they learned and they have been all huge for us.”

Napoleon’s success with Village Christian came from her willingness to accept responsibility for both her successes and failures.

“It all came down to never thinking about myself but thinking about my teammates,” Napoleon said. “Whenever I got a kill, it was on my teammates it wasn’t on me. Whenever I made a mistake that would be on me. I …read more

Source:: Dailynews – News

      

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