Today’s notebookWalnut High’s Samantha Sheller now on the radar for Mustangs
By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
ROWLAND HEIGHTS – It wasn’t the Ganesha High School girls volleyball team’s easiest match of the season, but meetings against Rowland rarely are cakewalks for the Giants. The host Raiders again proved to be quite a pest for Ganesha before succumbing 25-17, 22-25, 25-13, 25-16 in a nonleague match on Tuesday.
Marcelina Moreno had nine kills and five blocks and Claudia Mosqueda had eight kills to help Ganesha improve to 11-3. Setter Jacqueline Salcedo added five aces.
Rowland, getting five kills from Nicole Manasala and four from Danika Luczon, slipped to 4-4.
“It’s never easy against Rowland,” Ganesha coach John McGaha said.
“Their defense is so strong. There were some plays there (the Raiders) made that I couldn’t believe it was coming up.
“Some of our girls weren’t used to that. They thought they would have a kill. They thought it would be easy, and I tried to explain it’s never easy against these guys.”
Ganesha made it look easy early on, using a 9-1 run to take a 20-12 lead in the first game following consecutive mis-hits by Manasala and Alex DeLeon and back-to-back hits by Moreno and Salcedo.
The Giants, ranked No. 9 in the area this week, then closed the game with a 5-2 surge and won it 25-17 on a kill by Mosqueda.
But Rowland didn’t go away quietly.
The Raiders took control of the second game early, going up 10-5 before following a 6-0 Ganesha blitz with a 7-3 run, and edged closer to the finish on consecutive kills by Manasala and a mis-hit by Danya Velazquez.
Rowland then closed out the game on two Manasala kills to win, 25-22.
The Raiders scored four of the first six points in the third game, but they couldn’t keep up the momentum. Ganesha forged ahead at 10-7 following two punch kills by Salcedo before scoring nine consecutive points for a 22-11 advantage.
“That’s one of the issues with this team,” Rowland coach Aimee Urbien said. “They do have talent and momentum, but when things get tough, the points start getting away from them.
“It seems when the passing is working, sometimes the hitting is off, and vice versa.”
Ganesha then won three of the next five points and won game three on a kill.
“We just got comfortable with our normal system,” McGaha said.
“We have three or four rotations, so I moved my girls from right side to middle to outside. The one rotation we won all three games on was our main rotation.
“I think it was they just got comfortable with that, and then (Salcedo) was serving the ball on fire.”
Ganesha controlled the fourth game, taking leads of 12-9, 15-11 and 20-16 before scoring the final five points to win 25-16.
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