PaliHi Boys Volleyball Seeks Title

By Laurel Busby
Staff Writer

The PaliHi boys volleyball team, which is seeded No.1 for the City Section Division 1 playoffs, won its second round game on May 11 against Jordan in three straight sets (25-17, 25-21, 25-6), after an opening round bye.

In recent weeks, the Dolphins, who finished 10-0 to win the Western League, have had to shuffle their game since team co-captain Jeff Stuart was lost for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury.

“We’ve had an opportunity to adjust,” Coach Carlos Gray said of the preceding weeks. “It’s a little better. We’re not where we want to be yet . . . Every playoff round gets tougher. We’ve got to continually build.”

Hosting Jordan, the team seemed to fully gel at the end of the second set, when it pulled away to win and then began the third set with a 4-0 run. They stretched their lead to 16-6, allowing some of the starters to take a break and give other players a chance to play.

Junior setter Colum Yeh entered the game for the first time and served for nine straight points to end the match.

“It was fun,” Yeh said afterwards. “It’s good to come in and finish out the game.” The hard-working starters were Marcus Partain, a sophomore opposite hitter/setter, his brother, Miles, a freshman opposite hitter/setter; junior libero Jimmy Taylor; sophomore outside hitter Akhil Tangutur; junior middle blocker Flaviano Winther; junior outside hitter Scott Stuart and sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Justin Howard.

The Dolphins, who were 35-5 over the season, faced a playoff opponent with a vocal fan base cheering them on, and toward the end of the second set, Jordan’s fans got especially loud when their team tied the set at 19-19. However, at that moment, Pali also got serious and began taking control of the game.

Jordan never came close again, and their fans lost steam.

Pali’s players expressed happiness with the win. “We didn’t get down when we made mistakes,” Taylor said. “We stayed in the game and stayed focused.”

Winther said, “I felt like we had a strong win. We went all for it. We had to change some things, but I think we can win [city].”

Pali faces Chatsworth in the semifinals today, May 16, and the winner will play in the championship game at Roybal on May 20 at 4:30 p.m.

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