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Warriors win; Saders streak snapped

Aloha beats Jesuit to snap the Crusaders' 138-match Metro League winning streak in volleyball
by: Miles Vance OUT IN FRONT — Aloha coach Kellie Scholl (shown here in 2010) led her team past Jesuit in Metro play last week.

ALOHA - Four and 138.

The 'four' represents the relatively modest Metro League winning streak carried by the league-leading Aloha volleyball team.

The '138' marks the consecutive matches that Jesuit won in Metro volleyball, a streak that dates all the way back to before the start of the Crusaders' 13-year winning streak.

But Aloha's third Metro win of 2011 - a 25-21, 25-23, 16-25, 25-18 victory over the Crusaders at Aloha High School on Sept. 29 - put an end to Jesuit's long streak and knocked the Crusaders out of first place for the first time in a very, very long time.

'The girls did understand the significance of this win - Jesuit has always dominated this conference,' said Aloha coach Kellie Scholl. 'They were all very excited, but on Friday, they came back into the gym ready to work even harder.'

While Jesuit was obviously upset by the loss, the Crusaders know that their biggest goals - winning the league again and making another long run at state - are still available to them.

'We don't really focus on what happened in the past,' said Jesuit coach Teresa Zimmerlee, the only volleyball coach the school has had since it began accepting female students back in the mid-1990s. 'We had no idea what our win streak was. We try to build a new 'run' with the team we have each year.'

That said, Aloha's win had huge historical significance, and also gives the Warriors an early edge in chasing the 2011 Metro League title though there will undoubtedly be challenges still ahead. Among those, obviously, will be the Warriors' Oct. 18 rematch with the Crusaders at Jesuit High School.

'They know there are a lot of great teams in our league, and they (know they need) to prepare for the next match,' Scholl said of her team.

In the win over Jesuit, seniors Amanda Goringe, Amy Boswell and Danielle Jones stepped up to lead the way. Goringe, a setter and middle blocker, had three blocks, 18 kills, no errors on 24 hitting attempts, 17 assists, and seven digs. Boswell, also a setter and middle blocker, had five blocks, 16 kills, 17 assists and 10 digs. And Jones, the team's libero, led the team in passing and had 10 digs.

Aloha also got 10 digs from sophomore outsider hitter Victoria Henry in the win.

While Aloha got the victory, the Crusaders were close the whole way and left knowing that, by changing the outcome of just five points in game one and three in game two, they might have emerged with the win.

Junior Anne Elorriaga led her team with 17 kills and five blocks, while junior Megan McCool added 13 kills and seven digs. Further, junior Maddie Keudell had nine kills, freshman Ariana Wiltjer notched three blocks, senior Maddie De Rego made six digs, and sophomore setter Jessica Finn totaled 50 assists.

'Our emphasis is on improving this team, and the outcome of this match won't really affect the matches in the future,' Zimmerlee said. 'There are things we need to do better, no matter who the opponent may be, and we will continue to work on those things.'

For Aloha, though there's still a long way to go this year, last week's win added to the improvement that has already marked the team's arc in the 2011 season.

'Early on in the year, we played without much emotion and made too many unforced errors,' Scholl said. 'We have been working on this since the preseason, and with every league match, they have gotten better at eliminating the unforced errors, and they have really started to play with emotion and heart.'