CIF Volleyball: La Salle plays role of spoiler, punches ticket to this weekend’s finals with sweep over South Torrance; Pasadena Poly meets Chadwick in finals.

LA SALLE 3, SOUTH TORRANCE 0: La Salle ruined the grand opening of South Torrance’s new gym with an upset 25-16, 25-17, 25-23 win over top-seed South Torrance on Tuesday night in front of an electric crowd in the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA semifinals. La Salle (29-5) contained South’s offense with an impressive passing game and good size up front. South might have been thrown off by La Salle’s late arrival after the Lancers got stuck in heavy rush-hour traffic. La Salle arrived at 6:40 p.m., just 20 minutes before the scheduled start time. South had done its routine warmup, but had to take an unexpected break. “Bottom line is that we didn’t play great and they did,” South Torrance coach Robert Kutsch said. South had trouble slowing down LaSalle’s attack. Haley DeSales led La Salle with 10 kills. Katrina Palffy added nine kills and Riley Spriesterbach had seven kills and two aces. Diamond Ridley-Pierce had six kills and seven blocks, including a stretch of five straight points to help break open Game 1. La Salle used a 10-4 run in Game 2 to break open another tight set. Then La Salle rallied from a 21-18 deficit in Game 3 to close it out. — Tony Ciniglio, Torrance Daily Breeze Staff Writer

PASADENA POLY 3, SANTA MONICA 0: The Pasadena Poly volleyball team has some unfinished business. The Panthers reached the CIF-Southern Section championship game last year. Well, they’re back. Poly easily knocked out Santa Monica in just over an hour in Wednesday’s Division 3AA semifinals. “We weren’t expecting it,” senior outside hitter Alexis Genske said of making the finals again. “We were definitely hoping for it and I think we worked hard enough to earn it. We’re excited.” The second-seeded Panthers, who trailed only in the first game, scored a 25-18, 25-13, 25-16 victory to set up a rematch with Prep League champion Chadwick. The teams split their league matches with home victories and will meet for a third time this weekend at Cypress College. — Keith Lair, Star-News Staff Writer

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