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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Dantuma paves the way for Valley Christian in Olympic League opener

By Loren Kopff


The Valley Christian girls volleyball team continued its dominance over Heritage Christian in the Olympic League opener this past Tuesday night in preparation for what will be the first of several big tests for rest of the regular season. Backed by a huge match from senior opposite hitter Karly Dantuma, the Lady Crusaders swept the Warriors 25-22, 25-12, 25-18 to remain undefeated on the season.

It was the ninth win in as many matches against Heritage Christian (formerly Los Angeles Baptist) since it entered the league in 2010, seven of which have been sweeps. In addition, V.C. improved to 15-0, the best start to a season since going 33-0 in 1998 and finishing as the USA Today National Champions.

In the first set, it was a team effort as Dantuma had three kills but was joined by junior middle blocker Kerryn Harrington and freshman outside hitter Madison Holmes (four kills each) and senior outside hitter Caroline Hefley (three kills).

V.C. led 6-0 before Heritage Christian rallied to take a 16-14 lead. The set wasn’t decided until Holmes had a kill, then junior defensive specialist Emily McLurg wrapped it up with an ace. In the second set, it was all Dantuma and Hefley as they combined for nine kills. Dantuma also had two solo blocks and two combined blocks with junior middle blocker Katelyn Albani.

Dantuma would add six more kills in the third set as V.C. led all the way. She finished the match with 15 kills while Hefley and Holmes had eight and six kills respectively. Junior setter Chloe Winter added four aces as the Crusaders, ranked 10th in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division II-AA polls, hosted top ranked Village Christian on Oct. 9. Valley Christian will travel to Maranatha on Tuesday before coming home to Whittier Christian on Thursday.

In other girls volleyball action, Gahr (3-11 overall, 1-1 in the San Gabriel Valley League) won its first non-tournament match of the season with a 25-17, 25-18, 25-10 win over Paramount this past Tuesday. The Gladiators visited Downey on Oct. 9 and will host Dominguez on Tuesday, Bellflower on Wednesday and Lynwood on Thursday.


Artesia dropped a 42-21 decision to Mayfair last Friday and has lost three straight games. The Pioneers (2-4 overall, 0-2 in the Suburban League) visit Cerritos tonight in the last leg of the ABC Unified School District race, already won by Gahr on Sept. 19.

Gahr (3-2) was off last Friday and will visit Warren tonight in the San Gabriel Valley League opener. The Gladiators have outscored their opponents 151-137 and senior quarterback Malik Smith has thrown 14 touchdown passes.

John Glenn (2-3, 0-1) also had its bye last Friday and will visit La Mirada tonight. The Eagles scored 27 points in its Sept. 19 win against Gardena but have scored a combined 24 points in their other four games.

Valley Christian fell to St. Anthony 17-14 last Friday night to end its non league slate at 4-2. The Crusaders travel to Maranatha tonight in the Olympic League opener.


Cerritos dominated the first Suburban League Cluster last Thursday at La Mirada Regional Park with the boys easily beating Norwalk by 21 points and the girls edging La Mirada by just two points. Sophomore Bill Chuang was the winner on the boys side with a time of 16:23 on the three-mile course. Norwalk senior Christian Perez came in second with a time of 16:44, followed by Cerritos senior Christian Cortez (16:55). Cerritos, which racked up 39 points, and Norwalk (60 points) each had three runners finish in the top nine. The top Artesia runner was junior Dominic Gonzales, who placed 15th out of 40 runners with a time of 18:28.

On the girls side, freshman Nasim Motaghedi, who came in second place (19:37) was the top runner for Cerritos (44 points), which had three runners in the top eight. Seniors Alyssa Movchan (21:42) and Stacy Park (21:56) finished in seventh and eighth respectively. Norwalk finished in third place with 62 points as junior Jennifer Melendez took the third spot with a time of 20:23. Artesia only had two runners but sophomore Karina Murguia came in ninth place with a time of 22:03.

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