Trailblazers soar above Harvard Westlake in straight sets
By Jacob H. Pollon
Sierra Canyon Athletics Dept.
The Sierra Canyon girls volleyball team had minor issues Thursday in its first ever appearance in the CIF Southern Section Div. 1 playoffs.
The Trailblazers came away with a 29-27, 25-16, 25-16 sweep against Harvard-Westlake. After cruising through Gold Coast League play unbeaten in 12 matches while not losing a single set, Sierra Canyon found stiffer competition in the Wolverines nearly giving away the first set before regrouping to set the tone for the sweep.
The 2017 Div. 2 state and section champions were led by Michigan-bound May Pertofsky. Pertofsky finished with 10 kills, 11 aces, four blocks and four digs. The serving was the key all night to create separation in the final two sets.
“I have been practicing my serve,” Pertofsky said. “It is more consistent and harder. I feel it’s time to give it my all. This is the most important part of the season.”
The brief scare in the first set served as a wake-up call for Sierra Canyon.
“It was a turning point for our team,” Pertofsky said. “It drove home the point this could be the last time we all play together. We didn’t want it to end this soon. We decided to fight as hard as we can. It was all energy, all in.”
It worked. The Trailblazers had a much easier time the rest of the way even jumping out to a 7-1 lead in the final set.
Jaylen Jordan had 14 kills and eight digs, Yale-bound Zoie Stewart had seven kills, two aces and two blocks and Taylor Simpson contributed 36 assists and seven digs for Sierra Canyon.
Sierra Canyon now advances to Wednesday’s 6 p.m. quarterfinal matchup at Temecula Valley. A victory would send the Trailblazers to an Oct. 27 date with the Mater Dei-Long Beach Poly winner.
“It’s just crazy that we started out in Div. 6 and now we are all the way up in Div. 1,” Pertofsky said. “But it’s believable because we all work together and we work for each other. It’s possible for sure. We are all friends at school and we all have such a close connection on and off the court.”