Palisades Beats Hosts in Finals for Second Straight Year to Win Venice Invitational
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
After two grueling days of volleyball, the Palisades High girls squad found itself in the same situation as last season—facing its archrival for the gold division championship at the Venice Invitational. The result was practically identical as well, with the Dolphins prevailing in a sweep, 25-21, 25-18, to finish in first place for the fifth time in eight years. Last year’s scores in the final were 25-20, 25-14.
Palisades beat Venice four times last fall—twice in tournaments and twice in league play—before being upset by the Gondos in the playoffs.
Since dropping their season opener at Crescenta Valley, the Dolphins have reeled off 15 straight victories, none tougher than Saturday afternoon’s semifinal against Windward— a rematch of Palisades’ five-set win August 24 in Mar Vista. Palisades took the first set 25-23 and Windward took the second by the same score. The decisive third set was to 15 points and the Dolphins built a seemingly insurmountable 14-6 lead, needing one more point to book their spot in the final. However, Windward closed to within one point before Palisades closed it out with a kill to prevail, 15-13. At the same time, Venice outlasted Taft in another close three-setter.
On Friday, Palisades topped its pool with sweeps of Port of LA, Bell and Cleveland. Schools were re-seeded Saturday morning for a second round of pool play and after 2-0 wins against Sylmar and Marquez the Dolphins took on Taft, which entered the match undefeated at 14-0. The first set was nip and tuck but Palisades pulled it out, 25-23, before rolling to a 25-14 win in the second set to complete the sweep and again take first place in its pool. In the quarterfinals the Dolphins beat Cleveland. Overall, they have won 37 of 43 sets played this season.
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