Palm Springs knocks Lady Highlanders out of playoffs
By Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal
La Habra’s breakthrough season came to an end as they fell to Palm Springs, 3-0, in the second round of CIF playoffs at home Thursday night.
After a close first set, the Indians took control and dominated the last two sets, 26-4, 25-10, 25-14, to secure the win.
“We came in with big hearts wanting to play big and we came in wanting to win the game, but we were outsized,” said La Habra head coach Adrianne Spear. “They have a number of kids that can hit the ball.”
Palm Springs went undefeated in the Desert Valley league and defeated Walnut, 3-0, in the first round of playoffs.
The Highlanders (22-9) swept Oak Hills in the first round of playoffs, but Palm Springs’ hitters kept La Habra from advancing to the third round.
“The second round is when you start seeing the big teams and it is what it is,” Spear said. “We played hard. We broke down a lot, a lot more than I expected, and we just couldn’t recover tonight.”
Down by one, Palm Springs (23-5) went on a 3-0 run at the end of the first set to give them the lead, 23-21.
The Highlanders responded with their own 3-0 run to regain the lead, 24-23, but the Indians regained control to close out the set, 26-24.
The close first set woke up the Indians who quickly took the lead in the second set with a 4-0 run.
Leading 8-4, Palm Springs went on a 12-0 run to advance their score to 20-4.
The Highlanders tried to come back but couldn’t make up the 16-point deficit before falling to the Indians, 25-10.
La Habra came out fighting in the third set and was first to put points on the board.
The Highlanders took an early 4-3 lead over the Indians, but faced a setback after Palm Springs took the lead with a 7-0 run.
“They played hard and they never gave up,” Spear said. “I’m proud of them for making it to the second round and for putting up a good fight. I can’t ask for anything more from these kids.”
The Highlanders finished their breakthrough season with an 8-2 record in the Freeway league, their best since 2007.
“I think they played outstanding throughout the whole season and I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids,” Spear said. “They were a joy to coach this year and I’m proud of them.”