PaliHi Girls Volleyball Loses in Heartbreaker

The Palisades High girls volleyball team lost to Granada Hills Charter High School in four sets in the City Section Division 1 finals at Roybal Learning Center on Saturday, Nov. 12.

The 3-1 score reflected the result, not the close battle.

Granada won the first set, 25-20. In the second one, the Dolphins were up 19-6, but Granada came back to win, 25-23. Pali took the third set 25-20, but then lost the deciding fourth set, 25-18.

Angel Echipue took control in the semifinal match against Elizabeth. Credit: PaliHi Yearbook

Angel Echipue took control in the semifinal match against Elizabeth. Credit: PaliHi Yearbook

Since the end of September, the Highlanders hadn’t lost a match and no team had taken them to the fourth set, until Saturday. In Granada’s semi-final match against El Camino Real, they won 25-12, 25-12 and 25-21. (Last year Palisades lost to El Camino 3-2 in the championship final.)

The Dolphins beat Elizabeth (25-15, 25-11 and 25-23) in the semi-finals to advance. Carlos Gray knew his team would be facing Granada, and told the News, “This will take the greatest prep we’ve ever done.”

Gray said the Highlanders roster was deep with nine seniors. By contrast, the Dolphins lost nine girls last year, and had to readjust positions this year. Only two of the returning players had the same position. Gray, who had three seniors on the team, said he had a lot of talent, but his team lacked consistency and experience.

After destroying Elizabeth in the semi-final game at Palisades on November 8, captain and senior Angel Echipue said, “Saturday we will need to have our best game of the season.”

Her fellow captain, Emma Sims, added, “I know it’s going to be tough and hopefully we’ll win. It’s unbelievable how we have bounced back. We’ve meshed so well.”

Gray was also happy with the girls on the team, praising them after that win, saying this year has been different, and they have had some hard-fought battles along the way, but “we just clicked, it’s really sweet.”

Palisades will advance to regionals on November 16, but brackets and game locations had not been posted at press time.

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