Sports

No. 1 Lady Heralds quickly get past Westridge

Deanna Blaine places an attack against Westridge in the first set of Tuesday's 3-0 sweep of the Lady Tigers. Blaine led the team with 11 kills.
Deanna Blaine places an attack against Westridge in the first set of Tuesday’s 3-0 sweep of the Lady Tigers. Blaine led the team with 11 kills.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Whittier Christian Lady Heralds’ volleyball team advanced to the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-19) victory over the Westridge Lady Tigers, despite having to play without its libero, Nicole Santos, who was out with a shoulder injury.

Sophomore Molly Patapoff was forced to step in and take over the libero spot. She recorded nine digs in the match.

“Nicole brings a whole different dimension to the team when she is out there,” said Whittier Christian head coach Shawn Hunter. “It does not seem like it is anything major. She should be back in time for the second round game.”

Despite the dominating score, the Lady Heralds had some sloppy moments and really felt the effects of not having Santos on the floor.

“It is one of those times where you do not realize how much she means to the team until she is not in there,” said senior captain, Jennifer Washle. “But, Molly stepped in and did an outstanding job. I am so proud of her.”

The dominating offensive performance went through Washle almost every time. She recorded 29 assists and had three service aces. She had at least seven assists in every game.

Whittier Christian sophomore Molly Patapoff had big shoes to fill, playing in place of injured senior Nicole Santos, Tuesday night. Patapoff's defense played a crucial role in a 3-0 sweep of Westridge in the first round of the CIF-SS Div. 2A playoffs.
Whittier Christian sophomore Molly Patapoff had big shoes to fill, playing in place of injured senior Nicole Santos, Tuesday night. Patapoff’s defense played a crucial role in a 3-0 sweep of Westridge in the first round of the CIF-SS Div. 2A playoffs.

The team’s two senior outside hitters made their presence felt as usual. Deanna Blaine had 11 kills and added four blocks defensively. Kylee Wolfe, the team’s other captain had six kills, and led the team in digs with 10.

The Lady Heralds came out a little sloppy at the beginning of the game, but pulled it together as the game went on. They trailed 13-14 in the first set, but rarely trailed from that point on.

“We came out a little slow today,” Blaine said. “But, all in all, I think we pulled it together and played really well for the most part.”

Now, Whittier Christian will wait and see who they will match up with next Thursday.

“I think we are in a pretty good place heading into that game,” Washle said. “Depending on who we play, we may have to tweak a few things, but I do not think we need to change too much.”

The Lady Heralds are the No. 1 seed in Division 2A and are expected to make a deep run in the playoffs. They know that every game counts though and they need to treat every opponent the same.

“I do not think we need to tell these girls the importance of every game,” Hunter said. “They still come out and give everything they have in practice and should be able to bring that energy into every game.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.