By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
The Palisades Charter High School girls volleyball team did not win the gold division at the Chatsworth Invitational October 13 to 14. However, by not losing to a City team, the Dolphins may have solidified their position atop the rankings heading into next week’s section playoffs.
Palisades finished 6-3 at the two-day tournament and lost to Desert Oasis of Nevada in the Silver Division finals. Western League rival Venice won the gold championship, but because the schools were in different pools they did not meet head-to-head Friday or Saturday. Both are surely headed to the eight-team Open Division bracket, and since the Dolphins prevailed in both matchups versus Venice on their way to the league title as well as a tournament win, they are guaranteed the higher seed.
Chatsworth, which squandered big leads in the second and third sets of Friday’s pool play defeat to Palisades, won the bronze division title and also likely secured a City Open Division berth. The Chancellors edged St. Monica 26-24 in the final.
Palisades (34-6) is undefeated against City opponents this season. The Dolphins’ only losses are to Crescenta Valley (twice), Mayfield, Thousand Oaks, Royal and Desert Oasis. On its way to the Silver Division final Palisades beat South Gate, Villanova Prep (twice), Chatsworth, Valencia and Buena.
“Coming back to defeat Chatsworth was huge because we could see them again in the playoffs,” head coach Carlos Gray said. “It was disappointing to come up a little short to Crescenta Valley because we lost to them at the start of the season, but a lot of girls got playing time today, which can only help us down the road.”
City playoff seedings will be announced Thursday night, October 19. The Dolphins won the last of their record 30 section titles (and third under Gray) to culminate the 2020 campaign, delayed until spring 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Palisades lost in four sets to Granada Hills in the semifinals of the Open Division two years ago and was swept by Venice in the Open quarterfinals last fall.
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